Earlier, I speculated about what the decision to send the school sentinels bill to the State Affairs committee instead of the Education committee meant for its fate.
Yesterday, I did something better: I checked on each of the members to see what they thought about it.
A few of them were on the record with opinions about the bill; those who weren’t, I called.
You can read more about the state of the sentinels bill here.
Here’s where things stand now with the Senate State Affairs Committee:
- Brown: Undecided. Doesn’t have a problem with the “concept” but is “struggling” with a few components of the bill.
- Frerichs: Doesn’t ”support the bill in its current form,” would need “to change it pretty drastically” to vote for it.
- Johnston: Has called the sentinels bill premature, saying other discussions of school security needs to come first.
- Lederman: A sponsor of the bill, has spoken critically of making schools gun-free zones.
- Lucas: Is “not going to support it.”
- Olson: Supportive as long as it maintains its local control.
- Rave: Leaning toward supporting the bill, but is “well aware of the concerns” and could change his mind.
- Rhoden: Supportive; believes the state should “let the local governing body make the decision for themselves.”
- Tieszen: Prime sponsor of the bill, has testified for it.
Taking a bit of a leap (some of these statements have been more decisive and clear than others), I’d categorize the committee like this:
Yes votes (4): Lederman, Olson, Rhoden, Tieszen
No votes (3): Frerichs, Johnston, Lucas
Undecided (2): Brown, Rave
With nine members on the committee, the bill needs five votes to pass, and is already one short. If either Brown or Rave votes yes, or one of the no votes changes their mind (without any yes votes flipping), House Bill 1087 will probably pass out of committee.