On Wednesday, legislation that would have shifted $61 million in state land endowment money to replace and repair school buildings died in the Senate Education Committee on a 5-4 vote.
Senate Bill 1103 was one proposal that came from a House-Senate working group, which spent the fall studying the state’s facilities backlog. Funding provided by the legislation would have just been a start at tackling the issue since a recent state study shows the backlog to be at least $800 million, but is likely much more.
Senate Education Chairman Dave Lent (R-Idaho Falls) was the bill’s sponsor and co-chair of the facilities working group. He expressed frustration at the committee’s rejection of the bill, according the Idaho Education News’ report on the hearing.