Otter signs final K-12 bills

Otter sine die
Gov. Butch Otter

Today is signing day in Butch Otter’s office, as the governor acts on the final pieces of legislation from the 2014 session.

And as far as K-12 is concerned, it’s a wrap.

On Friday, Otter signed the final three K-12 bills on his desk:

  • House Bill 478, which tweaks the way the state distributes lottery proceeds. The bill will split lottery proceeds between school building and state building projects, and a state bond levy equalization fund.
  • Senate Bill 1396, which will create a 30-member committee to review questions on the state’s new Common Core-aligned student assessments. The panel will review Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium questions for “bias and sensitivity” issues, and can recommend ditching questions. The State Board of Education will make the final call.
  • Senate Bill 1410, which lays out the ground rules for school districts that want to install WiFi systems in high schools and junior high schools. The Legislature is letting districts opt out of a statewide WiFi system — and if districts opt out, they will receive $21 per student to hook up their own systems.

Otter last week signed several key education bills, including the seven bills that comprise the $1.37 billion 2014-15 budget.

Friday is the last day for Otter to act on legislation from the 2014 session, which adjourned March 20. Otter used his veto stamp only once in 2014, using a line-item veto to nix an $1,800 pay raise for the governor (details from the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s Betsy Russell.)