Gov. Butch Otter has allowed SB 1175 to become law, the budget bill for the state Department of Administration for next year, without his signature. The measure passed the Senate unanimously and the House on a 61-8 vote; it cuts the state general funds going to the department by 66.2 percent from this year’s level. That’s partly because of the removal from Admin of the Idaho Education Network, after a court invalidated the state’s $60 million contract for the school broadband network that was issued to two politically connected firms.
Lawmakers this year decided instead to have the state Department of Education oversee school broadband; it coordinated a process in which individual school districts contracted with vendors of their choice – a process that resulted in significant savings and more bandwidth for the schools.