In what can only be characterized as one of the more bizarre moves of the 2013 legislative session, House Education Committee Vice-Chair Pete Nielsen (R-Mt. Home) began the Wednesday morning meeting by telling committee members that they would need to reconsider HB 307, the bill that was killed by the committee on Tuesday on an 8-8 tie.
This bill, sponsored by Rep. Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) requires that 1.67 percent of the money set aside for teacher salaries in the 2014 public schools budget be spent only to add more staff or increase contract days.
A parliamentary motion was quickly approved by committee members to reconsider HB 307, effectively bringing the bill back to life.
No new public testimony was allowed and a new motion was made to move the bill the floor with a “do pass” recommendation. During debate, several committee members alluded to comments made by teachers at the previous day’s meeting, questioning the validity of their statements. Teachers had told committee members that in the past few years teacher salaries have been reduced over and above pay cuts that resulted from furlough days; IEA previously confirmed these facts.
Several committee members—who less than 24 hours previously had voted against the legislation—signaled their intent to change their votes. Due to confusion on the part of some lawmakers, the committee set aside any final decision on this bill until Thursday’s meeting.
Thursday’s House Education Committee agenda, posted late this afternoon confirms that HB 307 will be up for consideration, and an additional piece of legislation, dubbed “Part Two” by Rep. DeMordaunt will be introduced.
Hmmm…something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Senate Panel Drives HB 260 Forward
The Senate Education Committee meeting was abbreviated on Wednesday to allow the full Senate to go the 14th Order and begin the somewhat arduous task of amending a long list of bills.
During their 45 minute meeting, committee members voted 6-3 to send HB 260 to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation.
The IEA opposes HB 260, which requires all negotiations to be completed by June 10 of each year. If bargaining has not concluded, the district shall impose its last, best offer. The legislation also allows either party to call for mediation, as long as the mediation is completed before June 10th.
Only Sen’s. Thayn (R-Emmett), Durst (D-Boise), and Buckner-Webb (D-Boise) opposed the motion.
This bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
ACTION: Contact your senator and urge a NO vote on HB 260!