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Background checks for Coach

Posted at 10:50 AM on April 1, 2008 by Michael Marchio (1 Comments)

SF2369, sponsored by Rep. Karla Bigham and, you guessed it, Sen. Ann Rest, was heard on the House floor this morning. The bill would require K-12 coaches to have criminal background checks done. Here's a story on it.

Under current law, any teacher hired by the state has to be checked, but coaches do not. With this bill, either the schools or the coaches themselves would pay to have a background check - about $40, according to Rep. Bigham - conducted.

Too often in the House, the slightest ideological difference spins out into a mess of points of order and arguments about germaneness. Thankfully, that didn't happen here, and we had the kind of constructive questioning that leads to the best kind of legislating.

Rep. Torrey Westrom asked whether occasional volunteers helping out a team would be required to submit to one of these checks, and Rep. Bigham said that she stripped out the language from the Senate version of the bill that could have required that. This means conference committee folks, so Rep. Bigham and Sen. Rest will have some more points coming to them.

Rep. Mark Buesgens pointed out that by his estimation, 99.9 percent of coaches wouldn't do anything inappropriate, and asked whether it was worth the burden of cost that would be put on schools or the people they're trying to recruit to coach their teams.

"I don't know about how many of you feel that schools have too much money in their general funds," he said.

Regardless of your view of the bill, these are the kinds of points that need to be raised, and the minority did a good job of vetting it.

The bill passed, but 11 lawmakers did vote against it. Check out the VoteTracker.


Comments (1)


Look for big Senate points on Thursday. We have been doing general orders all darned day and have given initial approval to more than 80 bills so far. Final votes will be taken THursday.

linda higgins
the good senator from the Northside

Posted by linda higgins | April 1, 2008 4:30 PM