Meanwhile, also at the Statehouse: Postsecondary budgets pass easily

In contrast to the funding formula standoff in the House Education Committee, the House passed a higher education budget without a hiccup Monday morning.

This bill dedicates $306 million in general fund money to Idaho’s four-year institutions, a 3.5 percent increase.

The bill earmarks $150,000 for software designed to help high school students enroll in college-level dual-credit courses and $50,000 to encourage the use of open-source online college textbooks.

The House approved the budget on a 51-19 vote. Voting no were Republican Reps. Vito Barbieri, Dalton Gardens; Judy Boyle, Midvale; Chad Christensen, Ammon; Sage Dixon, Ponderay; Rod Furniss, Rigby; Terry Gestrin, Donnelly; Priscilla Giddings, White Bird; John Green, Post Falls; Steven Harris, Meridian; Ron Mendive, Coeur d’Alene; Dorothy Moon, Stanley; Mike Moyle, Star; Tammy Nichols, Middleton; Joe Palmer, Meridian; Heather Scott, Blanchard; Paul Shepherd, Riggins; Tony Wisniewski, Post Falls; and Christy Zito, Hammett. Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, also voted no.

In other Monday budget news, the Senate unanimously passed the community college budget bill. The bill earmarks $47.8 million in state general fund dollars for the two-year schools, also a 3.5 percent increase.

The higher ed budget now goes to the Senate. The community college budget crosses over to the House.

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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