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Eye On Boise

Wed., March 19, 2014, 10:07 a.m.

Of budget bills, community college funding, and EITC…

Budget bills are moving through both houses; among them, the Senate this morning voted unanimously in favor of SB 1415, the budget bill for the state’s community colleges for next year. Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, lauded the inclusion of funds for expanding outreach efforts at North Idaho College, including expansion of its Sandpoint Center. “Community college courses, in my estimation, is where we need to grow our workforce training,” he told the Senate, “and it would be nice if Eastern Idaho Technical College was at some point a community college.”

Idaho has three community colleges – NIC, the College of Southern Idaho, and the College of Western Idaho – all of which draw on local property taxes for a portion of their funding. EITC, in Idaho Falls, is fully state-funded; voters there have refused to make it a community college funded in part by local property taxes. Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, was the Senate sponsor of the community college budget bill. In his closing debate, after Goedde’s comment, he told the Senate, “No rebuttal – I happen to agree with the good senator from (District) 4.”

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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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