Thank you for allowing me to respond to the inaccuracies found in your editorial dated April 3. The defeat of HB 323 had nothing to do with egos and little to do with political arm wrestling.
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is charged with setting budgets, not policy. JFAC actions are, most often, done in a vacuum, with no testimony from the public or from the 85 other members of the Legislature. Germane committees are charged with setting policy and enacting Idaho code; they do it in a very public setting. The editorial mentions that process yet the editorial board seems to think it was acceptable that Idaho law was being permanently altered by JFAC with no input.
The vote against the education budget was as much a vote against process as a vote against the numbers, and I suggest no votes by six Senate committee chairman is proof of same. The editorial uses the word hypocrisy to chastise me, yet your board is the hypocrite when you support a process with no public input.
If the editorial board wishes to look for gamesmanship, consider that the education budget was passed out of JFAC on March 5, yet it was not introduced in the House until March 20. Ask yourself why it took 15 days for a journey of less than 200 feet.
Just for the record, the editorial is only a year off accurate when it discusses Students Come First legislation, and the education budget is billion, not million. Just for the record, the Idaho School Boards Association did not take a position on the education budget that failed in the Senate. Just for the record, those parties who fashioned the education budget and I met two weeks ago for 2-1/2 hours to go over my concerns about the budget; it was not a last-minute, unexpected attack, as the editorial suggests. The timing of the debate on the education budget was set by leadership and House action; I suggested that it be done earlier so that if it was killed, it would not extend the session, but that did not happen.
The work on collective bargaining statutory changes this year came to the Idaho Legislature from the Idaho School Boards Association, where locally elected trustees by a count of 3 to 1 supported the action. Many bills passed in this arena had support of all the stakeholders, while others were supported by the ISBA and the IASA, which is an association of administrators.
I don't ask for sympathy from the Idaho Statesman, but I do expect accuracy from the state's largest newspaper.
Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, is chairman of the Education Committee.