Talking with reporters after his bill-signing ceremony this morning, Gov. Butch Otter called his meeting with key lawmakers and others last night on the failed public school vote in the Senate yesterday a “successful” one. “I believe that No. 1 that meeting that we had was successful in laying out a timeline strategy and also molding the differences into … a path forward and agreement,” he said. “We’ve got a process that we need to follow.”
Otter said leaders are concerned about complying with the Idaho Open Meeting Law in giving adequate notice of public hearings that will be held on education issues. “I felt that there was some agreement just to get it going as soon as possible,” he said.
Part of the discussion focused on HB 65, he said, the bill restoring $30 million to school districts in this year’s public school budget to keep them whole after the failure of Propositions 1, 2 and 3. Though that bill passed the House unanimously more than a month ago, it’s languished in the Senate Education Committee. “There was a question about why it hadn’t been treated,” Otter said. “We had to see some movement on 65.” The Senate committee now has that bill on its agenda for its 1 p.m. meeting today.
Said the governor, “We’ve got an end in sight, we’ve got a strategy to get there. I believe we have an agreement, although I think it may be a little fragile … to go forward.”