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Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 17, 2011

THURSDAY, FEB. 17, 2011

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde, right, talks with a concerned Robin Nettinga of the Idaho Education Association, left, after his committee voted Thursday to pass all three bills in a controversial school-reform plan that the association opposed. Goedde is the lead legislative sponsor of the bills. (Betsy Russell)

School reform plan heads to full Senate

Here's a link to my full story at on the controversial school reform plan clearing the Senate Education Committee today, after two weeks of intense hearings that saw strong public opposition to the move. The key piece of the package barely squeaked through the…

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Third Luna bill passes on 6-3 vote 

SB 1108, the one on labor relations and teacher contracts, has now cleared the Senate Education Committee on a 6-3 vote, with Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, joining Democratic Sens. Edgar Malepeai and Nicole LeFavour in opposing it. Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, who made the…

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SB 1113 clears committee on 5-4 vote

The Senate Education Committee has voted 5-4 in favor of SB 1113, the biggest piece of the Luna school reform plan, with class size increases, laptop computers for high-school students and required online courses. Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Meridian, said there's still time for amendments or…

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Toryanski: 'This plan is not quite ripe' 

Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise, said SB 1113, the reform bill, with its class-size changes, technology upgrades and online course requirements, unlike the performance pay plan, "was brought to the Legislature after the session began, just last month." Since then, with all the public input, he…

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Fulcher moves to approve SB 1113

SB 1113, the reform bill that includes class-size changes and technology upgrades, is up next. Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, moved to send it to the full Senate with a recommendation that it pass. "These probably aren't perfect bills, but you know what, on a bill…

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Winder: What if bills don't pass?

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Meridian, asked state schools Supt. Tom Luna, "If none of these bills pass, what happens, in your opinion?" Luna said, "This legislature is obligated by law to set a schools budget, and the only things left to cut in the current budget…

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Luna plan: Pessimistic or optimistic? 

Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, said the state is at the bottom of a huge economic downturn, and she questions why state schools Supt. Tom Luna says this is the "new normal." "Is your pessimism that deep, that we are not going to recover like the…

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Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, questions state schools Supt. Tom Luna on Thursday, asking if more time isn't needed to work out the final details of his school reform plan. Luna said no. (Betsy Russell)

Andreason: 'A finished product?'

Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, asked state schools Supt. Tom Luna, "Is it your opinion that we now have a finished product?" Or, he said, with all the changes, is there a need to go back and work over the plan with all the stakeholders? Luna…

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State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna gives his closing comments to the Senate Education Committee on Thursday on his controversial school reform plan. (Betsy Russell)

Luna: 'We have to do something different' 

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna told the Senate Education Committee, "This historic piece of legislation is necessary, it's timely, it's urgent." He said, "Let's remember why we're here." He reviewed the deep cuts schools have suffered in recent years, including a historic $128.5 million…

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Guv's aide: 'Leaders have to lead'

Roger Brown of Gov. Butch Otter's office, the final "stakeholder" to address the Senate Education Committee before its expected vote on a three-bill school reform plan, told the committee, "The world changed on us." He said, "There's nothing radical about the three bills that are…

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'We have not drilled down on the details'

Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, asked former Meridian School District Superintendent Christine Donnell, who is representing the Idaho Coalition for Education Excellence, a business group, whether the school reform bills, which her group is supporting, might have serious impacts on the Meridian school district, such as…

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How they voted...

Here's the vote breakdown on HB 111, the tribal policing bill, which failed on a 34-35 vote in the House today: Voting in favor: Reps. Anderson, Bateman, Bayer, Bilbao, Buckner-Webb, Burgoyne, Chadderdon, Chew, Crane, Cronin, DeMordaunt, Ellsworth, Guthrie, Henderson, Higgins, Jaquet, Killen, King, Lacey, McGeachin,…

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House kills tribal policing bill by one vote 

After debate finally was cut off by a two-thirds vote to move the previous question, a parliamentary maneuver designed to cut off debate, the House has voted 34-35 against HB 111, the tribal policing bill; it fails by one vote. The debate stretched through the…

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Tribal policing debate: 'Ghosts and goblins' 

When Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, tried to suggest that the Coeur d'Alene Tribe will take people's guns if they come onto the reservation with concealed weapons permits, Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, gave a blistering rebuttal. When the NRA brought up an "11th hour" concern,…

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.