BOISE - The 2011 Idaho Legislature adjourned just after 2:30 pm Thursday ending one of the toughest sessions in recent history.
President of the Senate, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, slammed the gavel in the Senate at 12:30 and two hours later House Speaker Lawerence Denney banged the gavel across the Rotunda ending the long, contentious session.
"We balanced the budget in the face of the most severe economic crisis many of us have faced. And we did it without additional tax burdens on Idahoans," said Senator Brent Hill of Rexburg.
The lawmaker’s controversial votes on education reform ending tenure, restricting collective bargaining, and introducing merit pay for teachers will go down in the history books along with salary allocations and increased technology in classrooms.
Idaho Lawmakers also cut the state Medicaid program by $35 million, but figure in the loss of federal matching funds and the cuts total $108 million.
The Senate worked long hours in a race against the clock to get done and the last votes killed a sales tax rebate for alternative energy investors.