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.

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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