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New Idaho special session bill eliminates 3% education boost

Idaho Statehouse
Posted at 8:59 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 10:59:20-04

BOISE, Idaho — A new proposed bill for the legislative special session on Thursday eliminates a 3% annual increase for education spending.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little posted the new bill on his website ahead of the start of the special session.

The bill retains the $410 million annual education spending increase through sales taxes as well as a $500 million income tax rebate this year and an ongoing $150 million income and corporate tax cut by creating a 5.8% flat tax.

Little last week called the Legislature back to Boise due to what he said was high inflation harming taxpayers and the education system.

But the 3% annual education increase started drawing resistance from some Republican lawmakers. Based on a list of lawmakers sponsoring the legislation posted on the governor's website, the bill has enough co-sponsors in the 70-member House and 35-member Senate to make it to the governor’s desk for Little’s signature.

The state’s business leaders have complained that Idaho’s education system is falling behind, hurting efforts to attract new companies and retain existing ones.

The bill bolsters K-12 public schools and post-secondary education with $410 million annually from sales taxes starting next year. Of the $410 million, $330 million is proposed for K-12 and $80 million for post-secondary education.