|By Bill McKee, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
One accomplishment all three said they were grateful for was that, for the first time since 2008, the session actually ended after the 60 days scheduled.
"I'm really happy we don't have to go back. It's been a while since we haven't had a special session, so I'm very happy we got our work done on time," said Rep.
On Tuesday, Schmick, along with Rep.
"I'm really happy for those kids," said Schmick, who sponsored the bill on their behalf. "They really did their homework. I'm very proud of them."
Along with that bill, Schmick said he was also please to have passed a
"We just made tweaks to the existing budget -- I think the spending increase was only a quarter of 1 percent," he said. "It's important that we live within our means and only make small adjustments to the overlying budget. That's what a supplemental budget should do."
Fagan agreed, and pointed out this is also the second year in a row in which there have been no tuition increases for higher education.
"For a number of years before this we were seeing double-digit increases, so a couple years reprieve is really a great thing for students," she said.
Another bill she said she was pleased to see make it through, and which passed unanimously in both chambers, will provide more access to federal funding to support parents with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are at risk of losing their children.
"I heard from a number of parents, instructors and service providers who said this is the best year they can remember. I think if they're pleased about what we did, that means we got something right," Fagan said.
Schoesler pointed to two bills for veterans -- one which will allow veterans and active-duty members of the military to qualify for in-state tuition without having to first establish residency, and another that will ensure federal funding for a veterans home in
"Those were the most important things for the senate right at the end of the session," he said. "Enabling the language for the vets home in
While he said he was pleased with the bipartisan effort for much that was accomplished during the session, with specific regard for the budget, Schoesler expressed disappointment that nothing could be done to address the workers compensation system in the state.
Labor and Industries "insurance rates here are among the highest in the country. That's unacceptable, or at least it should be," he said. "To attract workers to the state we need to change that."
Fagan said she was disappointed they couldn't get a transportation package together, which she blamed on the governor for not making a decision on whether he would impose, through an executive order, a low carbon fuel standard.