The Senate Education Committee is meeting and has on its agenda four “trailer” bills to the already-passed school reform bills, including three that add emergency clauses to the three reform bills. That prevents a referendum to overturn the bills, should it gain the required signatures to make the November 2012 general election ballot, from resulting in a stay on the bills between now and then. Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, asked Jason Hancock, aide to state schools Supt. Tom Luna, “What would the emergency be?” Hancock responded, “The Constitution does not require the Legislature to state the emergency, just to declare it.” When LeFavour said it looked to her like the emergency was “thwarting the democratic process” of a referendum, Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, told Hancock he doesn't have to answer the question.
The first of those bills, HB 335, passed on a party-line vote.
Meanwhile, the House has been locked in a tense debate over SB 1001a, which would require a safety course for underage, unlicensed ATV riders on federal Forest Service roads. After much debate, the bill passed on a 41-27 vote.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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