Following Monday evening negotiations between different Senate factions and meetings between House and Senate leaders, it was clear on Tuesday morning that a deal to end the education brouhaha had been cut.
As quickly as the deal was inked, the Senate State Affairs Committee met Tuesday morning to print SB 1199, the bill sponsored by Education Chairs Rep. Reed DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) and Sen. John Goedde (R-CDA) and the precursor to the creation of a new FY’14 Public School funding bill.
Senators defeated the original public school funding bill last Thursday after members of the Senate Education Committee criticized the process used to develop several sections of the bill. Since then, legislators have been scrambling to find compromise language that not only satisfied a majority of senators, but that would also garner the approval of at least a majority of members of the House who had overwhelmingly approved the original funding bill.
Immediately following the print hearing on SB 1199, both House and Senate Education Committees posted agendas to hold an 8 AM dual hearing on the bill Wednesday. Though both committees will take part in the hearing, only the Senate committee will vote on the bill on Wednesday.
The plan for moving the legislation forward and getting a new education budget written and approved is illustrative of how quickly the legislative wheels can turn, when lawmakers want them to.
According to a plan by Senate leadership, once the Senate Education Committee approves the bill, the Senate will suspend rules to vote on the bill. If the bill is approved by the full Senate, members of the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) will convene Wednesday afternoon to approve a second funding bill. Assuming the funding bill receives a positive nod in both chambers, the legislature could adjourn sine die by Thursday afternoon.
House Panel Approves SB 1040a
Over objections by the Idaho Education Association, members of the House Education Committee overwhelmingly approved SB 1040a Tuesday morning and sent the bill to the floor with a recommendation that it “do pass.”
You may recall that last week, the Senate amended SB 1040 to give the local school board sole authority to reduce or increase contract days and/or reduce or increase the salary of employees for any reason or no reason whatsoever and further deny an individual due process hearing for affected employees. It also allows, in very limited circumstances and for a limited period of time, districts to lower contract days with or without concurrence through the negotiations process.
The bill now moves to the full House.