State Sen. Branden Durst skipped his assigned K-12 interim committee meeting Tuesday at the Statehouse, nearly two months after reports surfaced that he is living out of state part-time.
The meeting was the third and final meeting of the committee, which was created by the Legislature “to undertake and complete a study of how to improve and strengthen Idaho’s K-12 educational system and all matters relating thereto.”
Sen. John Goedde, R- Coeur d’Alene, said he knew in advance that Durst was unlikely to attend because of a scheduling conflict.
“I was given a note saying he had a business meeting and probably wouldn’t attend,” Goedde, the interim committee’s co-chairman, said during a break in the meeting.
Goedde said the note did not address Durst’s future plans. Interim committee members had tentatively scheduled another meeting in December, but that meeting was called off on Tuesday.
Durst, D-Boise, also serves on the Senate Education Committee — which Goedde also heads when the Legislature is in session.
Durst and Rep. Holli Woodings of Boise were the only two Democrats appointed to the 10-member interim committee.
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No other committee members were absent Tuesday.
Durst attended the interim committee’s first two meetings, but arrived nearly half an hour late to the committee’s Oct. 2 meeting. Shortly after arriving on Oct. 2, Durst used his personal Twitter account to express dissatisfaction with the committee’s progress.
“At the K-12 Interim Cmte meeting,” Durst tweeted while the meeting was in progress. “Really don’t see the purpose. 1st meeting wasn’t terribly valuable, we’ll see if #2 is any better.”
Durst told the Associated Press in September that he is still planning to serve in the Legislature, but his future hinges on a job search. His wife is teaching in the Seattle area and Durst has said he is splitting time between his Boise district and Washington state.
On Sept. 6, KTVB broke the news that Durst was living out of his district at least part-time. In the KTVB story, Durst said he is continuing to represent District 18 by attending meetings and keeping abreast of issues affecting his constituents.
In recent months, Durst has been a critic of Idaho Education News. In July, he published an opinion piece that, in part, criticized Idaho Eductation News. During the Oct. 2 meeting, Durst criticized Idaho Education News reporter Kevin Richert, who mentioned on Twitter that Durst was late in arriving to the meeting.