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Education- Hot Topic in Legislature

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

Local Government Committee (LGC) Report

Report DATE: 2-9-2023

LGC Reports are a compilation of notes taken at LG meetings, and information shared with the committee from organizations and community members.

Reports do not reflect the official positions of the Bonneville County Republican Party. We encourage the reader to research information and consider all sides of any issue. The intent of the LGC is to inform citizens of Bonneville County and encourage them to become involved in all levels of their community and local government.


Bonneville’s Best is a chance to recognize the good things happening in our community. Do you know a person or business that is making a positive difference? Please send your short story (one or two small paragraphs) to

During the County Commissioner meeting the Zoning and Planning came with a report, and brought to Commissioner Byron Reed, and Commissioner Jon Walker’s attention that a contractor had laid down a road that did not follow the standards set forth on the standards of the county specifically the temperature allowed for pouring asphalt. All were in agreement that Planning and Zoning needed to hold the contractor to the county standards so that we the tax payers do not have to re-do the work at tax payer expense. Well done Commissioners!


Dawna Howard, contributor

· Airport getting funds from Leading Idaho Initiative for $215,000 to replace a chiller in

the terminal

· A budget/finance update

· Cassiopeia Parks Subdivision hearing (not public) located between Skyline and Saturn Off Broadway (Lola and Dobson street). I believe this is just expanding in the area they have all ready built town homes (off Dobson Street).

· The work meeting on Monday has a 5 page agenda both from Parks and Rec requesting funds for Tautphaus Park tennis court and road work being redirected to the soccer complex development project. AND request for building a tubing park at Ryder Park.



February 10, 2023

“Empowering Parents Grant” – The FY2023 “Leading Idaho” Budget provides $50 million for “Empowering

Parents Grants” to help families take charge of education expenses for their children. This builds off Governor Little’s previous 2022 “Empowering Parents Grant” program.

SB1038 – The “Education Freedom Act” bill will create a universal education savings (ESA) account school- choice program in Idaho. A Senate Education Committee hearing on this bill will take place on February 14, 2023. IPEC is part of this bill’s “Coalition of Support” letter and sent out a “Call-to-Action” email on February 8, 2023, to over 1,000 parents and interested parties, to support this bill.

Co-sponsored by Senator Tammy Nichols and Senator Brian Lenney.

“Vulnerable Child Protection Act” – This bill amends existing bill HB114 and was introduced in the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee on February 7, 2023. The new bill prohibits sex change procedures for all children in Idaho. A similar bill was introduced in 2022; however, the Senate State Affairs Committee did not give it a hearing. Co-sponsored by Representative Bruce Skaug and Senator Lori Den Hartog.

HB24 – This bill would expand the Idaho Launch Program to include an $8,500 scholarship for graduating Idaho high school seniors, beginning in 2024. The bill passed the House on February 6, 2023, by a 36 to 34 vote and will now be moving on to the Senate.

RS (Routing Slip) 30092 – Senator Lori Den Hartog introduced this draft (possible) bill legislation to increase financing of public Charter Schools.

RS30094 – Senator Lori Den Hartog introduced this draft (possible) bill legislation to implement a new financing tool for Charter Schools.

SB1042 - Sponsored by Senator Lori Den Hartog and Senator Chuck Winder, SB1042 amends existing law to exempt certain public charter schools from having to demonstrate strong academic results to qualify for the Public Charter School Facilities Program and to revise a limitation on issuing bonds under the Public Charter School Facilities Program.

SB1043 – Sponsored by Senator Lori Den Hartog and Senator Chuck Winder, this bill repeals and adds to

existing law to remove the Public Charter School Debt Reserve Fund and to provide for a revolving loan fund.

SJR102 (Senate Joint Resolution) – Proposed the Blaine Amendment for the Idaho State Constitution be

repealed. Blaine Amendment prohibits tax dollars to be distributed to sectarian entities, including schools with religious purposes. Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings struck down this Amendment; SJR102 officially strikes down the Blaine Amendment in Idaho.

Neighboring States’ School-Choice Legislation to Watch:

Wyoming HB194 – Legislators have already moved this school-choice legislation through one chamber.

Washington HB1615 – This ESA bill is scheduled for executive session on February 9, 2023.

Utah HB215 – On February 3, 2023, Utah joined Iowa’s 2023 expansion of school-choice Education Savings

District 93 December 14, 2022 notes

· Several discussions ensued during the course of the meeting relative to the importance of parents in all facets of the District’s activities.

· Page Two of Agenda, “IX. Superintendent Reports and Recommendations”; Dr. Woolstenhume recommended changing the wording of “COVID” Plan (which he stated came from the Federal Government to the State to the District) to “Respiratory Illness Plan”, since there is a multitude of other respiratory illnesses (flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus [RSV], etc.) affecting the students in the District at the current time.

· Board member, Randy Smith, recommended adding “religion” to the State’s (Federal’s) discrimination clause

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