Erpelding praises Tuesday’s school votes, questions GOP priorities

By creating a new community college and approving a series of K-12 bond issues and levies, Idahoans voted “to bring opportunity and prosperity to everyone willing to work for it,” House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding said Wednesday.

At the same time, Erpelding took a shot at Republicans who opposed the Bonneville County community college.

“We are encouraged that Idahoans are tired of their state being left behind and voted to create opportunities for their children to succeed,” Erpelding, D-Boise, said in a news release. “We are equally disappointed that Republican central committees and conservatives continue to rail against measures that will benefit all of us.”

Republicans were split on the community college measure, approved by Bonneville County voters Tuesday night. The county’s Republican Central Committee opposed the measure, lamenting the impact on property taxes and suggesting the new community college would host a refugee center. Local Republican supporters included Senate Education Committee Chairman Dean Mortimer, Rep. Wendy Horman and Mayor Rebecca Casper, and Gov. Butch Otter urged Bonneville County voters to approve the new college.

The measure passed with 71 percent support, eclipsing the two-thirds supermajority needed to create a community college taxing district.

Idaho voters also approved $42.8 million in school bond issues and tax levies Tuesday.

More reading: What’s next for the Bonneville County community college?

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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