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Eye On Boise

Mon., April 4, 2011, 10:16 a.m.

House sidelines bill to eliminate driver’s ed funding

The House was on the verge of killing HB 314, Rep. Steven Thayn's bill to eliminate public funding for driver's training in schools, when House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, abruptly asked to return the bill to the House Education Committee. Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, objected, saying, "There has been some great debate here and I think we probably have heard enough to be able to make a decision on this proposal." But Nonini argued, "This is a good bill that needs a little bit more work," and his motion carried on a 53-16 vote.

Thayn said the move would promote private driver-training businesses, but opponents raised questions ranging from teen driver safety to unavailability of private driving schools in rural areas to the lack of families' ability now to pay double the current fees for driver training. "This is dangerous ground," warned Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, a retired state trooper.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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