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Senate Ed sets hearing - again - on HB 65; leaders huddle with Otter…

The Senate Education Committee has posted a meeting agenda for tomorrow at 1 p.m., and it includes HB 65, the budget fix for schools for the current year that makes sure schools don’t lose $30 million in current-year funding due to the failure of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 in November. The bill passed the House unanimously, 69-0, on Feb. 19, but it’s languished on the Senate side, where it’s appeared on the Senate committee’s agenda three other times, but not moved.

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, said earlier this afternoon, “My concern has been that I don’t know that we’ve got the votes in committee to move it forward. There’s no question that we have to do something to get that money to districts before we (adjourn) sine die.” Goedde said he thought the defeat of the fiscal year 2014 public school budget on the Senate floor today would help HB 65’s chances in his committee.

What’s not on tomorrow’s agenda, at this point: Any particular action in the wake of the budget bill’s defeat…

Late this afternoon, Goedde, Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, and GOP legislative leaders huddled with Gov. Butch Otter in the governor’s office, where the governor met with them just after returning from his “Capitol for a Day” event in Emmett; when I checked, they'd been in at least half an hour. “We don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Otter’s communications director, Mark Warbis. “They’re just trying to see what they can work out.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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