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Eye On Boise

If there’s a special session, it’ll be Aug. 25th

Gov. Jim Risch, in discussions with legislative leaders yesterday, settled on Friday August 25th as the date for a special session if he calls one this summer. “The date has been set aside,” said Risch’s chief of staff, John Sandy. “There are various reasons for setting that aside, not the least of which is, you know, this time of the year lots of people are trying to make plans. In all fairness to everyone, he wanted to get a date so that people could plan around that.”

Risch still hasn’t reached agreement with legislators on a plan to shift $250 million in school operations funding from the property tax to an increased sales tax and/or other sources, but Sandy said, “Things are looking quite optimistic. … It’s looking much more promising.”

Risch said Wednesday that he hopes to give up to a month’s notice if he calls a special session, to allow time for citizens to review the proposal and contact their legislators with their thoughts. But once a special session starts, Risch is planning for it to be a one-day deal. Picking a Friday reinforces that. “People could always work through the weekend if they wanted to,” Sandy said. But, he said, “This has been debated and studied for over a year. … If there’s a special session called, the intent is to bring people to town and pass the legislation and that’s that.”

Added Brad Hoaglun, Risch’s communications director, “A Friday kinda makes it where they aren’t going to spend several days talking.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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