The demise of the huckleberry pie bill, explained

From Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review comes this post on one of the bills that fizzled in 2018.

Working on behalf of a fourth-grade class from Iona Elementary School, Rep. Ron Nate pitched a bill to make the huckleberry pie Idaho’s official dessert. A skeptical House State Affairs Committee voted to introduce the bill on Feb. 13, but after that, the bill went nowhere.

Rep. Ron Nate

Why no followup hearing?

“Because (Nate) didn’t really want one,” State Affairs Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, told Russell. “He said, ‘I don’t care.’ He’d probably argue that he said that, but he did.”

Nate, R-Rexburg, isn’t talking. When Russell asked him about his bill, Nate said, “I don’t talk to dishonest reporters!”

Russell writes that this bad blood seems to go back to 2017, when Nate was caught on a House hot microphone saying that all school districts have some teachers who are “clearly overpaid.”

The hot mic moment received extensive media coverage; here’s a link to our story. At the time, Nate told Idaho Education News that he couldn’t recall making the comment, just minutes afterwards — and said he believed the state needs to curb overspending in some areas in order to move more money into teacher pay.

Either way, the 2018 legislative session ended Wednesday, and the huckleberry pie remains unsanctioned.

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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