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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Frustration over lack of decisions on school funding begins to boil over…

As the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee opened its meeting this morning, Sen. Roy Lacey, D-Pocatello, offered an unexpected motion. “I would like to make a motion that for the public school budget that we have a total of $1,814,274,400, a 7.4 percent increase, includes 167 units,” he said. At that point, JFAC Co-Chair Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, interrupted him. “I appreciate you and I appreciate your frustration,” she told Lacey. “But I will rule you out of order. It’s not on the agenda. I understand your feelings on that. So I would rule that your motion was out of order, and thank you so much.”

Lacey said, “We’re just getting so frustrated with nothing happening. There’s nothing happening right now. There are several things moving around, nothing constant, but I’m very fearful ... we’ll wait a week or two weeks, and then we’ll end up with something that is not quite livable, and we’ll push it through just to get out of here. This is an attempt to maybe get a spark started.”

Senate Education Chairman Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, responded, “I can tell you that there’s a lot of sparks flying. There is a lot of discussion on public schools, and I believe that we’re making very good progress. It is slower than a lot of us would like, but I believe we’re seeing progress and we’re getting a consensus. I encourage patience for just a little longer. … I do feel that we’re making significant progress and we’ll see significant progress over the next couple of days.”

Bell said, “The next couple of days? I guess those of us who’ve watched for the sparks expect a flame.”

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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