Doty, Currie lead 38 bills so far

Published 9:57 am Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lawmakers file so many bills it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on in Jackson. As of Wednesday, local lawmakers were listed as the principal author of 38 measures. Rep. Becky Currie has authored 22 and Sen. Sally Doty has authored 16. Rep. Vince Mangold is not yet the principal author of any proposed legislation.

Before the end of the legislative term, dozens, if not hundreds, of pieces of legislation will be authored by the three. A tiny percentage will make it out of committee and on to a vote. Even fewer still will become law.

So far, Currie has authored several interesting measures. Among them is a measure that would require the Office of State Auditor to conduct an accreditation assessment and ranking of each school and district, independent of the state Board of Education. House Bill 47 would also require the state Board of Education to use only data from the immediately preceding school year to assess the accreditation ranking for the current school year.

Currie, who sits on the Education committee, has also authored a measure that would prohibit the state Board of Education, superintendents, principals or other school administrators from preventing teachers from “helping students understand, analyze, critique and review the scientific strengths and weaknesses of all existing scientific theories taught under the curriculum framework.”  Biological evolution, chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning are listed as subjects that could warrant teachers to introduce alternative theories such as creationism.

Doty has filed bills to combat human trafficking, as well as a bill that would continue sex education in schools.

Senate Bill 2413 is technically about “personal responsibility” but is focused on teaching abstinence as the “only 100 percent effective way to prevent unintended pregnancy.” The bill would require that parents/guardians sign consent forms before the students are taught.

“When it was passed it was so that this law will repeal in four years and if we do nothing it goes away,” Doty said about the legislation. “I hope we will authorize that piece of legislation and tweak it to make it a better vehicle to teach our kids personal responsibility.”

Doty’s Senate Bill 2418 would amend state law to create domestic violence as an additional ground for divorce. The state already recognizes other grounds such as adultery, desertion, habitual drunkenness or habitual drug use, among others.

As the voting public, what our legislators do while in Jackson should be of interest to us. We encourage all residents to pay attention to the legislative term, and let local legislators know how you feel about issues. It’s the only way they can adequately represent you.