The Senate has voted 29-5 in favor of SB 1200, the new version of the public school budget. There was little debate. “It’s not a perfect budget, but it is a collaborative budget … to do what’s best for our schools, our teachers, and our children,” Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, told the House.
Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, explaining his vote, said, “I’ve voted no on every appropriation bill as my way, I guess, of trying to make my little point of the increased cost of benefits. I believe they’re unsustainable. We’ve kicked that can down the road. … I think our priorities aren’t in order, I think we need to address this in the near future. This senator will be voting no.”
Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, said, “I will be voting aye, however I still have an issue with the discretionary funds, and hopefully in the future we can stop the epidemic of the overrides or the supplementals in our schools by increasing supplemental funds.”
Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, also explaining his vote, said, “I intend to vote aye on this bill. I think we have problems with one-time money, but that will be the decision of the gentleman on the 2nd floor. I also would like to see more money in discretionary and really addressing the operations expenses that districts have, but that’s a topic for discussion on another day in another year.”
The bill now moves to the House.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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