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Eye On Boise

Three more bills introduced to revive pieces of voter-rejected Prop 1

The House Education Committee introduced three new bills from the Idaho School Boards Association this morning, all with emergency clauses; like the three introduced in Senate Education yesterday, all revive portions of the voter-rejected Proposition 1 that sought to roll back teacher collective bargaining rights.

The new bills introduced today are:

* One, introduced on a party-line vote with the panel’s three Democrats objecting, to both require that teacher negotiations be held publicly, and to require that if an agreement isn’t ratified by the teachers union by a June deadline, the district can impose contract terms unilaterally.

* A second, also introduced on a party-line vote, allows school districts more flexibility to lay off teachers, including longtime teachers; seniority could be considered only if all other factors, including performance, certifications and endorsements, student and school needs, course offerings and shifting student populations, are equal; and hearing requirements would be waived.

* A third, introduced unanimously, allows electronic delivery of teacher contracts as a money-saving move, and resets time limits and expiration dates.

Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, told the large crowd at this morning's meeting that the bills will come up for public hearings and that will be their chance to comment on them. "All have emergency clauses, so you need to be here to explain your view pro or con on these issues," Nielsen said, "because when it's done, it's done." Emergency clauses mean the bills take effect upon passage, when the governor signs them into law, rather than waiting until July 1 when most new laws take effect.

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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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