Broadband legal bills climb, again …

When it comes to the Idaho Education Network litigation-go-round, the bills just keep on coming.

And the new bills were presented Friday morning to legislative budget-writers.

Meridian high school, broadbandThe Department of Administration wants an additional $229,300 to cover legal fees for the state’s continued legal battle with Syringa Networks, the contractor that successfully sued the state over its $60 million broadband contract. Syringa won in an Ada County district court, but the case is under appeal in the state Supreme Court.
The $229,300 takes the form of a “supplemental appropriation,” new spending that legislators must approve for the remainder of the current budget year, which runs through June 30.
The state has already spent more than $625,000 on outside counsel on the Idaho Education Network legal battle — and the state could be on the hook for more than $930,000 in legal fees to Syringa.
The supplemental appropriation also covers two other cleanup items.
The Department of Administration wants to return $176,000 in grant money to the State Department of Administration. The grants had been earmarked for teacher stipends and training.
The department also proposes returning $461,800 in unused Idaho Education Network grant money to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.
JFAC approved all three proposals on 20-0 votes, Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported Friday. (To read details on the requests, download this file and refer to page 6-11).
Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded through a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.


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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