The House Education Committee has introduced new legislation to add an emergency clause to SB 1184, the sweeping school reform bill that just passed the House on Friday. Jason Hancock, aide to state schools Supt. Tom Luna, asked by committee members about the impact of the emergency clause, said, “An emergency clause has the effect of ensuring that legislation that is ultimately brought up in a referendum … is going to go into effect and function.” The emergency clause, like two other “trailer bills” already pending to “trail” after the other two school reform bills, SB 1108 and SB 1110, would make the bills take effect immediately to evade a stay that otherwise would have been imposed if a referendum effort successfully qualifies for the ballot.
Instead, with the emergency clauses, a successful referendum could overturn the laws if it passes in the November 2012 general election, but it couldn't stop them from taking effect between now and then.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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