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Idaho House Hits The Throttle On Passing Budget Bills

Idaho Statehouse Building Exterior Surrounded By Blue Sky
Samantha Wright
Boise State Public Radio
Idaho Statehouse

The Idaho Legislature went into overdrive Monday, passing several critical budget bills, covering everything from education to transportation.

The Idaho House passed the public school budget that's been on the calendar since early April. Last week, GOP lawmakers finally worked out a compromise that some say puts limits on teaching “critical race theory.” It also passed the K-12 teacher pay budget.

And after some testy debate, House members passed a new version of the higher education budget. The more than $600 million dollar budget includes a $2.5 million dollar cut to Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the University of Idaho to quote “remove state support for social justice programming at the schools.” All three of the education bills head to the Senate.

Senators passed the $382 million dollar income tax cut and sent it to Gov. Brad Little. The Idaho Press reports it was a long debate, with some lawmakers concerned the tax cut gives a bigger break to higher income earners. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, said the bill gives a quote ”tax break for people who pay taxes.” He said there are other things out there for people who earn less money.

And the Senate sent the giant transportation bill to the Governor which earmarks $80 million dollars each year to Idaho’s Transportation Department for the state highway system. Not long after the bill was passed, Governor Little tweeted out a thank you to the Senate.