Breaking News: LD 1739 to be withdrawn…


According to emails received by a number of people, Rep. Howard McFadden, the lead sponsor of the bill to eliminate referendum voting for school budgets, LD 1739, has agreed to withdraw the bill. 

What does this mean?

It means that in all likelihood, when the public hearing for LD 1739 begins at 2pm tomorrow, Rep. McFadden, who is a member of the education committee, will announce to the committee that he is withdrawing the bill. The trick is this: the joint rules of the House and Senate read as follows with regard to the withdrawal of bills:

Leave to Withdraw. A sponsor may request
leave to withdraw that sponsor’s bill or resolve before the bill or
resolve is advertised for a public hearing
. The request may be granted
only by the agreement of both chairs of the joint standing committee to
which the bill or resolve was referred
. When a request for Leave to
Withdraw has been granted by the chairs, the bill or resolve must be
reported out as Leave to Withdraw and placed in the legislative files
and may be recalled only as provided in Joint Rule 404.

While Rep. McFadden may no longer support his own bill, the bill is technically in the possession of the committee, not Rep. McFadden. The committee will need to take some kind of action.

SO, my advice is we keep moving forward and plan a big turnout in Augusta anyway. We DO NOT want the committee thinking that budget validation is something they can mess with.

It may well be that committee will kill the bill without a public hearing, which means that none of us will get a chance to be heard on this.  Nevertheless, a show of force is still needed. This committee has been talking about getting rid of budget validation and has proven in the past that it thinks very highly of itself and is willing to act without regard to public sentiment (see charter schools).

SO, please keep those emails coming and if you can, make plans to be there tomorrow at 2pm for a show of force. We may end up simply watching them kill the bill without taking any public testimony, but they will at least get the message that they can’t take away our right to vote!

on the bill can be emailed to the committee clerk at

Thanks to all of you for putting the pressure on, let’s make sure they hear us loud and clear tomorrow!