If you are wondering why Gov. Jay Nixon has not signed the so-called "fix" to Sen. Jane Cunningham's Facebook Law, the answer is a simple one- the bill has yet to reach his desk.
MNEA, in a legislative update to its members, says that though both houses overwhelmingly passed the revision to the social networking portion of SB 54, Speaker of the House Steve Tilley has yet to sign the bill. Until it has his signature, it does not go to the governor.
Tilley was scheduled to sign the bill Thursday when the House met for a technical session, but did not, because the Senate was not in session. After Tilley signs it, the message is supposed to be read in the Senate concerning the House's action on the same day.
Both chambers are scheduled to be in session Monday when Tilley is expected to sign the bill. Whether Nixon will approve the legislation is another matter entirely. In his call for the special session, the governor asked that the Facebook Law be repealed, not revised. The revision, worked out by Sen. Cunningham, with teacher organizations MNEA and MSTA, drops the requirement that teachers drop all social networking communication with students, instead requiring each school district to come up with its own policy.
This compromise is being touted as a perfect solution because it supposedly puts the decision in the hands of local school boards so they can work out policy with the help of teachers.
In reality, most Missouri school districts are going to hand off the responsibility to the Missouri School Boards Association, which could easily come up with policies that are just as draconian as what Mrs. Cunningham originally suggested since the organization is notorious for constructing policy to avoid any possibility of being sued over anything.
MNEA says this legislative "solution" is the best route because the problem should not be settled in the courts. Challenges to the Facebook Law have been filed in both state and federal courts.