Following nearly three hours of testimony by teachers and members of the public, the Senate Education Committee have voted unanimously to hold SB 1147 and SB 1148 in committee at the call of the chair.
Typically, a committee can make several parliamentary moves decisions about a bill:
- They can send the bill to the floor with a “do pass” recommendation, which basically urges the rest of the Senate to support the legislation;
- They can send the bill to the amending order so that changes, usually technical in nature, can be made to the bill to correct any deficiencies or language that concerns a majority of the committee members;
- They can hold the bill in committee, which usually signals that the bill is dead, at least for the remainder of the legislative session, or
- They can hold the bill in committee at the call of the chair. This procedural move, while rarely used, allows the chairman of the committee to bring the bill back to the full committee for consideration at a later date. In this instance, unless the chair decides not to bring the bill to committee, the bill remains very much alive.
In the case of SB 1147 and SB 1148, we can and should expect to see the bills on a future committee agenda.
We can only speculate about why committee members made the decision to hold both of these bills at the call of the chair, but it may have something to do with the comments Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill (R-Rexburg) made at Tuesday’s Idaho Press Club Luncheon. In a report by Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review it appears as if there are plans afoot to alter or kill the JFAC-approved education budget.
Russell reported that some Republican senators have objected to the process used to craft the intent language of the bill (and we heard senators discuss and debate these sections of the bill for several days in the committee), and Hill has advised is caucus that they will be allowed to debate the merits of the bill, but not the process used to create the K-12 budget, signaling that the legislation may have a bull’s-eye attached to it.
Special thanks to the following IEA members who joined IEA President Penni Cyr in speaking at today’s committee meeting: Luke Franklin (Meridian), Jaimee Hoesing (Nampa), Travis Manning (Vallivue), Pat St. Tourangeau (Boise), Connie Buckley (Boise), Molly O’Shea (Boise), Jason Vlcek (Payette), Julia Withers (Vallivue), Mick Sharkey (Parma), Lisa Doering (Nampa), and Christine Simon (Boise) who read testimony from Boise Education Association President Andrew Rath who, ironically, was immersed in negotiations with the district. Each of these members should be commended for their wonderful representation of IEA members and the teaching profession.
Thanks also to the other IEA members who attended the meeting to support your colleagues.
Stay tuned for more information on both of these bills.
In the meantime, if you’ve not already done so, NOW is the time to please contact members of the Senate Education Committee and urge them to kill SB 1147 and 1148 when they are returned to the committee at a later date.