"We do a lousy job of representing working class people and we should be ashamed of ourselves", Lee said on the Senate floor.
"They're trying to balance the budget on the backs of teachers", said Pat Binghan, a retired teacher from Pineville who sat in the front row of the audience as the committee voted.
It's likely not a coincidence that the House also passed the Senate's sweeping higher education bill about 10 minutes apart, as Senate leaders have publicly said they were willing to pass the House's K-12 funding package in exchange for their high-priority university package.
But Sen. Morgan McGarvey, one of the Democrats who voted against the bill, questioned whether the reduction in COLAs can withstand a court challenge which would consequently eliminate much of the bill's anticipated savings.
Legislators' bills would allow trained teachers to carry concealed weapons, which Scott opposes. But as Regan McCarthy reports opponents of the measure argue it could also lead to more fraud.
The exchange last Wednesday was one of many signs that the gun control debate appears likely to follow the same path in the Senate as major efforts on immigration last month and health care a year ago - one that essentially bypasses the committee of jurisdiction and instead plays out on the floor after some closed-door negotiations, with little time for lawmakers to read or digest the fine print.
"I don't think we're in a position today to decide what that path is", Ferns said. He called the bill the most "secretive" and "corrupt" piece of legislation that he's seen in his eight years in the Legislature. If passed in the House, the bill would take effect next year, after the 2018 election season.
House Bill 1257 was sponsored by Del.
This was expected to be the last piece of a set of demands by the West Virginia unions representing teachers and school service personnel. To top it off, Stanley's pal whisked him from Richmond to the North Carolina border, and there, on grounds of defunct Patrick County Hospital, signed the Republican's bill into law. Officials from both agencies said girls are often forced to marry adult abusers and have trouble fleeing abuse because they can't do things adults can such as rent apartments, or because domestic violence shelters don't accept minors.
"There was a concern about protecting the role of parents", Westerfield said.
Senate and House conferees are in the second day of at least three days worth of meetings to try and find a bridge between House and Senate versions of the pay raise bill.
As debate was happening in session, a handful of activists laid down for 17 minutes in the rotunda outside the House, with name cards that identified the 17 killed in Parkland. The lawmaker behind that amendment, state Sen.
"You're the future, the future taxpayers of state of Wyoming", Rothfuss asked.
"All the focus should have always been on fairness and getting the kids back in school", said Gov. Justice. "Coupled with the MCOPS (providing additional policing around schools) program we passed several years ago, this is another tool to keep our children safe in the classroom".