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Eye On Boise

Attempt to pull Senate-passed anti-bullying bill from House Ed falls short on 48-21 vote

Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, tried a parliamentary maneuver in the House this morning to pull SB 1358, the Senate-passed anti-bullying bill, out of the House Education Committee, where Chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, hasn't held a hearing on it. Nonini argued against the move. "I have talked about SB 1358 with my committee members, and I believe the best place for that Senate bill to sit right now is in the Education Committee," he told the House.

Cronin countered, "This bill is very similar to a bill that actually passed the Education Committee last year very overwhelmingly and never got a vote on the House floor. It passed the Senate overwhelmingly this year. ... This isn't a trivial matter, Mr. Speaker. If we want to put the interests of students first, if we want to put the safety and protection of students first, we need to consider this bill and its very clear intent to curb the bullying behavior that we know is occurring in our schools and hurting a lot of kids right now. ... I am standing up for children all across this state who dread going to school every day, who go to school in fear. My own daughter has experienced this and it's been painful for our family. This bill deserves to be heard, and I feel as if we've exhausted all other options."

Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, said he thought current law already addressed bullying. "I would suggest that this bill may not be necessary," he said. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, said if that's the case, a committee hearing would have brought that out. "I also believe in the committee process," he said. "In the committee process, we also have hearings."

However, the House voted 48-21 against the move, and the bill won't be pulled from committee.

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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