Twin Falls County Democrats
The sponsor has to file a petition with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State gives it to the Attorney General for Review. The AG has 20days to review and give comments. After getting the comments from the AG, the sponsor has 15 days to decide to file the final version of the petition and the AG has another 10 days to write up or approve the ballot titles, both short and long titles. After that, the petitioner can begin gathering signatures.
The sponsor has 60 from the date of adjournment of the legislature to gather the necessary signatures, which I think is 47,000 or so in this case.
I know that two of the petitions were filed last week and the third should be filed early next week. But until they get the final from the Sec of State we cannot do anything as far as signatures go. Then, because the time is so short, every effort will be made to gather signatures.
If the necessary signatures are gathered, then it will be put on the general election ballot.
My first draft of a letter to be sent to the Times News this week is below.
I am outraged.
Leg. Steve Hartgen believes school districts must be "forced to be better managers of their money not put into contract teaching positions they may not need". School districts have already been forced to be better managers, if you mean that by giving them less money they will manage "better". Our legislature has forced them to be better by eroding the education budget's tax base comprised of income tax, property tax, and sales tax. This state is already at or near the bottom funding education, and that was before this last round in the legislature.
About 10 years ago, the legislature lowered the income tax from 8% to 7.8. Over the years, our legislature has granted more and more exemptions to the sales tax-from 11 exemptions to about 88 currently. Meanwhile, they have raised the sales tax rate. Therefore, those who do pay, pay more. Additionally, the legislature shifted funding emphasis from the more stable property tax to highly volatile sales tax.
School districts personnel and school boards are the people who are going to have to make the difficult decision to fire teachers if their attendance drops. The local people serving on school boards and local administrators are the ones who will be looking in the face the person they have just laid off.
The purpose of our schools is to educate. The purpose of these bills is not better education. There were options that our legislators chose to ignore. Go to outrageinidaho.com for a list.
If you want to help school districts, Steve, why don't you give them a crystal ball so they may accurately predict how many students will be in attendance? They may accurately judge what fuel prices will be, and the result of the NCAA finals.
We can do better for our children.
Twin Falls County Democratic Chairwoman
2188 Addison Ave. East
Twin Falls, ID 83301
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