Idaho Legislature Might Leave Priorities Unfinished This Year

Mar 5, 2015

Credit Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Two months into Idaho’s legislative session, many of the priorities lawmakers set at the beginning of the year haven’t been touched. Legislative leaders say things like road and bridge funding and a tax overhaul may have to wait until next year.

At an event organized by the Idaho Press Club Wednesday, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said he’s optimistic the session can end by March 27. That’s despite the fact that a highly-anticipated bill to give teachers a raise was introduced Wednesday and a comprehensive plan to pay for fixing Idaho’s roads and bridges hasn’t yet surfaced.

Bedke says crafting a good road plan is difficult. He says previous legislatures have passed bills on the transportation issue that left a lot of problems for future sessions, and he doesn’t want to do that this time.

The speaker says they might have to “do education and go home.” But Bedke hopes the House can get to roads and cutting income taxes this year. Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill seemed less hopeful.

“There is a chance that even if something gets through the House, by the time it gets through the Senate that we run out of time,” Hill says.  “That’s not anybody’s desire. That’s certainly not anybody’s plan. But we’re not going to take something at the last minute and just pass it because that’s the only thing we got and we’ve got to go home.”

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