by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports
The Idaho Senate passed the higher education budget on Tuesday, possibly bringing lawmakers one step closer to adjournment.
Senate Bill 1176 contains $678.5 million for the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College.
Glenneda Zuiderveld, R-Twin Falls, said she was concerned about the growing size of the budget.
“We keep on spending money thinking that we’re going to continue having money,” Zuiderveld said. “We’re going to have to make some serious cuts here soon, because that’s not going to last forever.”
Several more conservative senators voiced concern about the influence of diversity, equity and inclusion principles in higher education, as well as allegations of indoctrination.
“We’ve been told this isn’t happening,” said Sen. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton. “Yet we’re seeing more and more evidence that it is.”
Lawmakers have scrutinized the state’s higher education system looking for signs of social justice indoctrination, and the joint budget committee has made related cuts in recent years.
“We do have a plan in place,” said Sen. Ben Adams, R-Nampa. “I’ll vote aye even though I have serious concerns.”
The higher education budget passed the Senate 22-13 and moves to the House.
Logan Finney | Associate Producer
Logan Finney is a North Idaho native with a passion for media production and boring government meetings. He grew up skiing, hunting and hiking in the mountains of Bonner County and has maintained a lifelong interest in the state’s geography, history and politics. Logan joined the Idaho Reports team in 2020 as a legislative session intern and stayed to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. He was hired as an associate producer in 2021 and they haven’t been able to get rid of him since.