The Idaho Legislator Who Votes Against Education Bills But Refuses to Say Why 

click to enlarge Rep. Shannon McMillan - IDAHO LEGISLATURE
  • Idaho Legislature
  • Rep. Shannon McMillan

A bundle of seven bills, which add up to an approximate 6.8 percent increase in state funding for Idaho public schools next year, has passed through the Idaho House by wide margins.

A number of other education bills still in the pipeline are expected to bump up education spending to about 7.4 percent. The bills are expected to be taken up in the Idaho Senate within the next two days.

While a majority of Idaho House Republicans and Democrats approved the measures, a handful of Republican House members, including Vito Barbieri (R-Dalton Gardens) and Shannon McMillan (R-Silverton), voted against most of the bills.

Barbieri, who voted against all of the education bills, defended his "no" votes, telling the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell that it was his way of "addressing the waste" and "the resistance has got to start somewhere."

McMillan, who has been elected to the Idaho House on three occasions and intends to run for re-election this year, had nothing to say about why she voted against six of the seven education bills.

The Lewiston Tribune's Bill Spence chased down McMillan after her "no" votes, but "when asked why she opposed the budgets, McMillan brusquely refused to answer," Spence wrote.

McMillan will be challenged in the May 17 GOP primary, when she'll face Priscilla Giddings, a celebrated United States Air Force pilot and daughter of Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings. The Republican winner will then have to face Sandpoint Democrat Jessica Chilcott in the November election.
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