Education Chairs Plan “Joint Listening Hearing”
House Education Chair Rep. Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) and Senate Education Chair John Goedde (R-CDA) announced plans today to hold a joint session of their committees to listen to ideas from the public about how to improve Idaho’s public schools. The hearing is scheduled for next Friday, February 1st.
According to reports in Spokesman Review reporter Betsy Russell’s Eye on Boise (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2013/jan/21/house-and-senate-ed-panels-schedule-listening-hearing-day-canceled-jfac-hearing), the chairmen believe that this forum, in addition to the work of the Governor’s Task Force, will allow for the public to offer additional suggestions into the process.
Late last week, we reported that the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) canceled planned hearings on the state budget, at the request of the House Speaker and Senate Pro-Tem.
Senate Panel Prints Bill to Further Impede Referendums
The Senate State Affairs Committee agreed to print a bill, introduced by the Idaho Farm Bureau that would make it more difficult to collect enough signatures to qualify an initiative or referendum for the ballot.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Curt McKenzie (R-Nampa), chair of the committee (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/jan/21/bill-would-make-it-tougher-get-measures-idaho-ball).
Based on the discussion of the legislation, the bill would require that before an initiative or referendum question is approved for the ballot, at least 6 percent of registered voters in at least 22 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts must sign the petition.
Considering the fact that since 2006, the IEA has successfully qualified every referendum and initiative petition, it appears there may be individuals or groups who are intent on changing that. We’ll be following this issue closely and be prepared to testify when the bill comes before the committee for a full hearing.
Correction: Teacher of Year to Present to Education Committees in February
We reported in Friday’s hotline message that Idaho Teacher of the Year Katie Pemberton would be presenting to the House and Senate Education Committees today.
Due to a paperwork error, she will not be presenting to the committees until mid-February. We apologize for any confusion.