The biggest news out of the Statehouse this week was not so much about something the General Assembly did as it was about something lawmakers announced they will not do – take action on a proposed amendment banning same sex marriage.
Legislative leaders say with the U.S. Supreme Court expected to rule on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans this summer, it is prudent for the General Assembly to wait until next year to take up the marriage amendment proposal.
Overwhelmingly passed in 2011, the amendment requires passage again by the legislature either this year or next to land on election ballots in 2014. Opponents of the amendment say they are pleased with the legislature’s decision, but are still gearing up for a fight next session.
A bill permitting Sunday alcohol sales received its first-ever committee hearing this week. Supporters of the bill say the law is outdated and changing it will stimulate economic growth. Opponents fear Sunday sales will hurt liquor stores, costing them more than they will make in increased sales.
The House Education committee approved school voucher expansion legislation Thursday. Among other things, the bill would remove the provision requiring students to spend at least one year in public school past kindergarten before receiving a voucher. It also increases the amount of the voucher by one thousand dollars in each of the next two years.