In his State of the State address in January, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said he wanted significant investments in education.
Sen. Jeff Siddoway (R-Terreton), the chair of the Senate Taxation Committee, told reporters that he would kill any tax cuts unless beginning teacher salaries were bumped to $40,000 a year.
For more than one month, nothing happened.
Then a flurry of activity produced a teacher ladder bill that passed both houses. It’s now law.
Meanwhile, House members drafted bills use general fund money for transportation, essentially pitting education against roads.
Then House leadership pushed a tax cut for the wealthy that would make funding the teacher ladder impossible.
The Senate killed that bill in a private meeting.
So we’re left waiting for the legislative session to end while hoping that lawmakers won’t jeopardize public education funding by passing irresponsible tax cuts or diverting general funds to pay for the state’s transportation infrastructure.