State bill regarding charter surrender progresses again - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

State bill regarding charter surrender progresses again

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris was in Nashville Thursday pushing a bill that would require a waiting period and a dual vote in the city and county before their respective school districts could consolidate.

Senate Bill 25 progressed again Friday.

Norris released a statement Friday afternoon saying, "SB25 passed second consideration in the Senate today. First consideration in House today. It will be referred to Committee for action and we'll schedule it for a vote in the Senate after we reconvene Feb. 7, 2011. It is our position that if SB25 becomes law, there won't be a City-only referendum."

At a meeting Thursday night, city school board member Dr. Jeff Warren asked board attorney Dorsey Hopson if there was any way to keep Norris' bill at bay.

"Is there anything that could possibly stop the legislature or any legal reason that would stop the legislature from being able to pass any laws that would make this occur before we have our vote?" Warren asked.

Hopson advised that even if city voters approve the charter surrender referendum, the conditions in Norris' bill would override the finality of that city vote.

"If the voters were to vote in favor of surrendering the charter, that bill would essentially," said Hopson. "So no, you've got another step that you have to take."

Late Friday, Norris backed off a February 7 deadline and said the vote will come when the legislature reconvenes.

In a statement Thursday, Norris agreed to take the bill of the fast track.

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