It is no secret that Propositions 1, 2 and 3, commonly known as “Luna Laws,” were killed with a majority vote in the November elections, but now Republican lawmakers are hoping to bring parts of the “Luna Laws” back to the ballots.
“Idahoans do not believe their children get a world-class education when teachers are silenced and bullied,” Sen. Michelle Stennett said.
Stennett said while the Idaho Democrats listened to voters, they are also supporting Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s decision to create an education task-force to reevaluate the laws. This task-force will give concerned Idahoans a voice in what the new bills contain.
Earlier in January, Otter announced Propositions 1, 2, and 3 would not be revisited in the 2013 legislature, but rather improved.
“I am neither calling for nor expecting major school improvements this year,” Otter said in his State of the State address. “But I believe there are areas in which we can make progress.”
Otter said he understands voters were dissatisfied with the process and that they want collaborative leadership.
Stennett said in the short amount of time after the November elections where 370,000 Idahoans rejected the mandates, Proposition 1, dealing with details about school administrators and teachers jobs, is being “resurrected.”
“This is the same legislative process that the people rejected in November,” Stennett said.
In an open forum conducted by the Joint Education Committee, Rep. JoAn Wood from Rigby said schools in rural Idaho missed out on many opportunities when Proposition 3 was killed in the election.
“It’s very slow out there to get our technology and infrastructure in place for our small schools,” Wood said. “Some of the computers are very old that they’re almost obsolete.”
She said teachers in rural schools have to be able to teach outside of their specialties.
“They have to be the jack of all trades in our small schools,” Wood said.
Stennett said the Legislature is ignoring the people, and Senate Bill 1108 seeks to restrict the Idahoans ability to reject bad legislation and ensure that the majority party won’t deal with such a stunning rebuke of their process and policies in the future.
“They must have access to an initiative and referendum process that gives them a loud voice in the laws that they must live by,” Stennett said.
Emily Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org