It was another day of frenetic activity at the Idaho Statehouse as the 2011 Legislature neared adjournment. Today’s action included the Senate Education Committee’s passage of the so-called “trailer bills” intended to clean up parts of the hastily written Luna laws. They include:
House Bill 315, which would reinstate a portion of the 99 percent protection for school districts for FY 2012 before completely eliminating it in FY 2013. The bill would also do away with the section of SB 1108 that allows school districts to terminate employees after October 1 and provide terminated employees with severance pay.
House Bill 345, which expands the “Use It or Lose It” levels from the 6 percent, 8 percent, and 10 percent levels granted by SB 1184 for FY12, FY13, and FY14 and beyond to 7 percent, 9.5 percent, and 11 percent. This added “flexibility” for districts means districts can use an ever-greater share of funding for purposes other than hiring teachers.
House Bill 346, which would eliminate the cap on new charter schools, was tabled in a 37-31 vote after Rep. John Rusche (D-Lewiston) protested the distribution of yellow fleece “National School Choice Week” scarves just before the bill was to be debated.
The House killed Senate Bill 1111a, the bill to allow the sale of ads on school buses. The Meridian school district sought the measure as a way to raise revenue in tough budget times. It was championed by Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise) and had earlier passed the Senate 25-9.
The House and Senate both cleared a new version of the closed primary bill that yesterday threatened to delay adjournment. The Legislature is likely to conclude its business tomorrow.