Citizens invited to testify on education bills

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(Courtesy photo) Idahoans living far from the state capitol are invited to testify on select education bills this year in a pilot project by the Idaho Legislature.

PRIEST RIVER ­— This year’s legislative session features a pilot project designed to include Idahoans living outside the Treasure Valley in the legislative process. The House of Representatives Education Committee has designated six locations around the state as remote testimony sites. Individuals representing themselves or organizations will be able to testify on select proposed legislation scheduled for a remote testimony meeting by the House Education chair. Because it is the first year of the project, the number of bills open to remote testimony are limited and the project will be confined to bills taken up by the House Education Committee, explained the legislature website.

All six remote testimony locations are 100 miles or more from the legislature meeting in Boise. The sites include North Idaho College, KUID Idaho Public Television at the University of Idaho in Moscow, the Idaho Falls Research and Extension Center, the College of Southern Idaho, Idaho State University, and the Nancy M. Cummings Extension Center in Carmen. An introductory video demonstrating the remote testimony process is available at https://legislature.idaho.gov/remote-testimony/resources/video.

The committee will post a meeting notice 72 hours before each remote testimony committee meeting is to be held. Those interested in testifying will need to fill out an online registration form at that time. If a location has received no completed registrations 24 hours prior to the start of the remote testimony committee meeting, that location will be canceled for that day. However, if at least one registration is completed for a location by the 24-hour deadline, the registrations will remain open until the evening prior to the remote testimony committee meeting, said the legislature website. Those who do not register will not be allowed to testify as walk-ins.

The House Education Committee chair will determine the amount of time given to remote testimony. Individuals will be limited to two to three minutes each. Due to time limits, registering to testify does not guarantee that registrants will be permitted to testify. Because technical problems may prevent live video and audio testimony from the remote locations, written testimony will be required at the time of registration.

Committee meetings can often be delayed or rescheduled and there is no guarantee a bill will be heard when originally scheduled, said the website.

For more information, go to https://legislature.idaho.gov/remote-testimony, contact the committee secretary at hedu@house.idaho.gov or 208-332-1148, or contact the Legislative Information Center at idleginfo@lso.idaho.gov or 208-332-1000.

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