As previously reported here at Conduit Street, the vote in the U.S. Senate this week on state and local assistance may have good tidings for Maryland government budgets. Not only did the amended Senate bill contain assistance for Medicaid, but it also forwards an idea that has bobbed in and out of the Congress’s priorities — an education jobs fund. Information from the New America Foundation website details the legislation’s travails, and some of the potential effects for school systems:
The latest version of the Education Jobs Fund was presented yesterday as an amendment to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, also called H.R. 1586. Earlier this week, Senate Democrats hoped to pass the program as part of bill to support lending to small businesses. But a last minute message from the Congressional Budget Office indicating that the bill would not be budget neutral – it would cost an additional $5 billion on top of the offsets included in the previous legislation – stopped them in their tracks because many Senators refused to pass any bill that would increase the deficit.
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Now that the Education Jobs Fund has cleared the 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster in the Senate, it seems politically viable, but must still pass in the Senate and then the House. Unfortunately, the House is already on summer recess, potentially postponing a final vote until after Labor Day. However, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) is already in discussions with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) staff about bringing the House back to vote on the bill so money will be available before the school year begins. Check back with Ed Money Watch for updates on this process.
Click here for Ed Money Watch’s coverage of both the legislation’s effects, and a timeline of its progress through the Congress.