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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — With $260 million in federal money at stake, lawmakers on a Senate panel voted to create an interim committee to recommend new math, science and English standards for Idaho's 300,000 students. The Senate Education Committee on Monday voted unanimously to send to the full Senate a concurrent resolution to form the interim committee. The House Education Committee last week rejected the standards. Lawmakers on the Senate committee say Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra told them the state could lose $260 million in federal money annually if the new standards aren't put in place.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation significantly increasing what it will cost nonresidents to hunt deer and elk in Idaho is heading to the full Senate. The Senate Resources and Environment Committee approved the measure Monday that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says resident hunters asked for so there will be less overcrowding in the field. Fish and Game is capping how many nonresidents can hunt deer and elk. But that will result in reducing Fish and Game revenue with fewer nonresident hunters. To make up for that, Fish and Game is increasing hunting and fishing costs for non-residents. The legislation has already passed the House.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little may soon introduce a five-year teacher pay plan providing more than $225 million in additional state support for teacher salary increases. The Lewiston Tribune reported a bill could be introduced when the House and Senate education committees complete work on school content standards and other administrative rules. The governor’s education task force has recommended expansion of teacher pay to include a third pay tier for veteran teachers. Little’s education policy adviser says his plan mirrors the task force recommendation to increase funding to establish $40,000 salaries for beginning teachers, $50,000 for mid-level teachers and $60,000 for veteran educators.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation for a constitutional amendment could end up reducing some property taxes by removing exemptions for others. The House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Monday gave the OK for the resolution that would allow legislation to bring into the property tax pool government properties leased by third parties. Democratic Rep. John Gannon as an example says taxing those properties in Boise could result in a 2% reduction overall for city residents and about 1% for the county. The resolution will have to pass both the House and Senate with a two-thirds majority and then be approved by voters.