We start a new, semi-regular feature today called “They Said It.”
Our goal is to capture a sampling of legislative and state government quotes that we hope illuminate, educate, entertain and reflect the tone of the current legislative session.
Here are our Top Six of recent vintage …
Today, the House begins a scheduled three-day session to finish work on more than 250 bills and amendments. We continue with our third snapshot tour of bills being considered this week that we have followed during this legislative session.
In this last of three parts, we look at three bills that are part of the so-called Regular Calendar that are subject to floor debate and roll call votes. They’re measures regarding death penalty, the school drop out age, and voting.
Four years after the Legislature changed the high school drop-out age to 18, the debate has returned. On Thursday, a House committee is scheduled to give its verdict on a Republican-backed proposal to lower the compulsory school attendance age to 16.
House Bill 429, sponsored by Rep. James Parison (R-New Ipswich), would allow students 16 years of age or older to withdraw from high school with parental permission.
In 2005, shortly after Gov. John Lynch took office, he declared lowering the high school drop out rate as one of his top priorities. His method—raising the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 (set in 1903)—was not embraced by all. But he said again and again that not to do so, plus create alternative educational programs for at-risk students, would put the futures of the students themselves and the state’s economic health at risk.