State Sen. Brent Hill can remember a time when it was difficult to get a K-12 budget through the Legislature.
Not that this requires a long memory. It was only three years ago when the Senate killed the first version of a K-12 spending plan — the result of an unusual public showdown between legislative budget-writers and the Senate Education Committee.
This year, the Senate couldn’t have passed the budgets more quickly. No senators debated for or against the bills. To expedite the process, the Senate even used a procedural move to dispense with roll call votes. Hill, the Senate’s president pro tem, voted for all seven K-12 budgets. So did all 34 of his colleagues.
The 2016 legislative session’s drama centered on a stalemate between the House and the Senate over health care. When it came to writing the public schools a $1.58 billion check, the two houses and the two parties were of one mind.
This session’s floor activity says a lot about the state of Idaho’s education debate, and where the debate may be headed.