New Jersey’s majority party derailed attempts by Republican Assemblywomen Vicky Flynn and Kim Eulner to address three years of student learning loss, mental health funding and school safety during the Assembly voting session on Thursday.
Spoken over, interrupted and bullied by male Democrats while their female caucus members watched silently, the assemblywomen, supported by Minority Leader John DiMaio and other Republicans, respectfully pressured the majority to vote on motions to educate and protect schoolchildren.
“I thought by the fourth month of being here with you all, that we would have had bill after bill, after bill, making sure that we are funding learning loss and the mental health needs of our students. Two million dollars is woefully insufficient to address learning loss. We have to shift the priorities of…,” said Flynn (R-Monmouth).
Flynn was repeatedly interrupted by Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-Burlington) who was allowed to speak without being given permission by Speaker Pro Tempore Benjie Wimberly.
Flynn, a former Holmdel Board of Education president, advocated in favor of amending the proposed $45 million dollars to fund an electric school bus pilot program and reallocating it to schools to address learning loss and mental health services for students after three years of disrupted learning caused by quarantine policies.
Assemblywoman Kim Eulner (R-Monmouth) moved to force a vote on her bill (A303) to standardize school emergency response training for police two days following the apparent missteps of law enforcement during the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. She initiated a motion to procedurally move it from first to second reading, but was silenced by Assemblyman John McKeon and Speaker Craig Coughlin, who has the authority to put a bill directly on second reading for the purpose of an emergency floor vote.
Coughlin: Assemblywoman Eulner, is the bill on second reading?
Eulner: No it is not, but I’m asking for you to please…
Coughlin: I’m going to declare your motion out of order. Assemblywoman Eulner, please take your seat. Cut off her mic.