Who’s on the Legislature’s broadband committee?

The Legislative Council stuck around in Boise this morning — after lawmakers worked an 11-hour day to finally pass a child support bill.

Meridian IEN II
An Idaho Education Network class at Meridian High School.

The first item on the leadership committee’s agenda: assign colleagues to “interim committees” that will spend the summer studying select issues.

Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review has the full lowdown on the committee assignments. Let’s focus on one committee of special interest in the K-12 world: the interim committee focusing on school broadband.

Here’s the lineup, as reported by Russell: Co-chairs: Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, and Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene; Sens. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert; Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls; Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene; and Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow; Reps. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls; Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa; Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell; and John Rusche, D-Lewiston.

It’s a powerful cross-section.

  • Five members from the budget-writing Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee — including Cameron, JFAC’s Senate co-chairman and a key figure in the plan to bail out broadband during the 2015 session. Mortimer, Malek, Schmidt and Youngblood sit on the budget committee.
  • Three members from the education committees, including Mortimer, the Senate Education Committee’s chairman, Nonini and Clow.
  • Two members of legislative leadership: Davis, the Senate’s majority leader, and Rusche, the House’s minority leader.

The committee has been assigned to conduct a “thorough and complete study” of broadband services for schools and state agencies — with no assumption that the state will replace its mothballed Idaho Education Network system with another statewide system. To read more about the committee, here’s a link to the legislative resolution that created it.