In his presentation to the Legislative budget committee Thursday, public schools chief Tom Luna made a new argument for including contract rights in his controversial teacher pay plan. In response to a question from Boise Sen. Elliot Werk, Luna said that iSTARS is not just a merit or pay for performance bonus plan. “This is about increasing teacher pay, that’s what iSTARS is about,” Luna said. Only one of the series of bonuses proposed is to reward student success, the rest are about where and what teachers teach, Luna added. None of the stories below picked up on the comment, but it’s interesting in light of Gov. Otter’s call for all of his proposed 5 percent pay hike to go to merit pay. Maybe it’s just mincing words though. Also, Rev and Tax does its thing, Fish and Game Commission meets and boat safety tossed overboard.
Luna trims teacher bonus plan. Cuts bonuses by $200, revises estimate on number of teachers who will sign up. Budget committee had lots of questions. Dean Cameron: “How can an iSTARS approach, your approach, work with essentially about half of the amount of money that you deemed was necessary in order to implement it?” Allen in the Statesman. Otter spokesman: Luna is moving in the right direction. Miller, AP in the Press Tribune. Hearings on pay plans start Monday at 3 pm. Russell in the Spokesman. Broadsword: Luna is trying to get closer to IEA teacher pay request. Goins in the CDA Press. Fisher at NewWest.net.
Corder threatens House Rev and Tax. Sen. Tim Corder: “(We’ll) make the point: Come and talk to us or things will stop.” House bills will die, that is, after House tax committee kills nearly all efforts to repeal tax exemptions. Druzin in the Statesman. Ken Roberts: “I’m not opposed to looking at tax exemptions. … I have a problem picking out a few. … If we’re going to do this, we oughta sunset all exemptions and have all of ’em come back in and make their case.” Russell in the Spokesman. Stegner: It was a futile effort to look at exemptions. Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip]. Davidson in the Post-Register [subscrip].
Lawmakers want more teachers to get supply cash. $350 grants for classroom supplies only go to some teachers. Miller, AP in the Press Tribune.
Raybould: “You don’t even want a kid in a canoe, then, is that what this bill is saying? It’s what it reads.” Boater safety bill killed in the House. Russell in the Spokesman.
Ag departments want animal drug fee. Requests $800 fee from companies that sell vetrinary medicine in the state. Hopkins in the Times-News.
Court wants more security. Bill introduced to fund a guard for Idaho supremes. Hopkins in the Times-News.
McGee feels good. She left $108,000 a year job at State Board of Education to work as a special assistant to the Governor for $60,000 but it has nothing to do with the bad $1.4 million check she wrote. McGee on Otter: “It makes me feel good he has confidence and … he knows that I am a strong team player.” Roberts in the Statesman.
Quote of the Day: “Those people that believe in shooting animals through a fence after enticing them to the fence with a bucket of grain ought to turn the rifle around the other way.” Former Gov. Cecil Andrus at Cammo Day rally outside the Annex. Groups want limits on shooter bull operations, former Fish and Game Chief questions gill netting: “They’re using a nondiscriminatory piece of gear in the water,” Huffaker said. “I’m not sure whether they’re trying to catch fish or trying to assert their treaty rights.” Ferguson in the LMT [subscrip].
Fish and Game Commission allows inlines. Modern muskets will be allowed in “traditional” hunts, but ammo, sights have to be old fashioned. Phillips in the Statesman.
IDFG chief Groen writes to the world on wolves. “For Groen and his department managing wolves will be a balancing act. Today he seeks to ally the fears that his people, men and women who have devoted their lives to wildlife, are not planning to crop the wolf population back to the minimum to stay off the endangered species list.” Barker in Statesman Letters.
Enhanced DL not REAL ID. Eskridge: “Some people think this is a precursor to national ID, which I’m not in favor of. This is not a precursor.” It’s just so he can go to Canada.
Goins in the Bonner Bee.
Times-News in Elko. John Edwards: “Right here in Nevada, all (of) you can say ‘we’re going to speak up, we’re going to rise up.” Doug McMurdo in the Times-News.
Caldwell meeting draws anti-abortion protest, police. A teen sex ed dinner sponsored by Central District Health, Planned Parenthood and other groups draws protest on the streets, which in turn draws call to police. No one arrested. The protesters: Melvin Richardson AKA ProLife. Kendel Murrant in the Press Tribune.