After library bill vote, Boyle abruptly steps down from House Education

(UPDATED, 4:35, with comment from House Speaker Mike Moyle and House Education Committee Chairwoman Julie Yamamoto.)

The senior member of the House Education Committee abruptly stepped down Wednesday morning.

Rep. Judy Boyle

But on Thursday afternoon, House Speaker Mike Moyle says he wants something in writing.

Rep. Judy Boyle said she stepped down minutes after colleagues voted down a bill to ban school and public libraries from distributing “harmful materials” to minors. The committee voted to hold the bill on a 9-8 vote. Boyle voted against the motion.

“I’m not going to waste my time any longer in there,” Boyle told Idaho Education News Thursday afternoon. “This is Idaho, not San Francisco, and I’m a mom and a grandmom.”

Boyle said she was particularly frustrated because sponsors of House Bill 139 were willing to send the bill to the House floor for amendment. Instead, opponents voted to kill the bill.

As a result, Boyle was not in the committee room Wednesday when House Education took up a second libraries bill, House Bill 227. That bill would require school boards, public library boards and charter schools to create policies for selecting and removing harmful materials from their shelves. The committee adjourned without voting on the bill.

Nor was Boyle in the committee room Thursday when House Education rejected an education savings accounts proposal. The bill died on a 9-7 vote after a tense committee hearing.

Boyle said she spoke with Moyle, and Moyle confirmed that Thursday afternoon. But until Boyle steps down in writing, Moyle says he is making no changes.

“Talking is one thing,” Moyle, R-Star, told Idaho Education News. “In my opinion, I would rather have something in writing.”

House Education Chairwoman Julie Yamamoto said she has not spoken to Boyle or Moyle. And she said she doesn’t get to pick, or unpick, members of the committee.

“It’s clearly a leadership call,” Yamamoto, R-Caldwell, told Idaho Education News.

Boyle, serving her eighth term, is one of the senior members of the House. She was also the senior member of House Education. She had served on the committee since 2011, according to Ballotpedia, an online almanac of American Politics.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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