Senate Democrats, during their open caucus meeting Tuesday, blasted the current stalemate between Gov. Butch Otter and House Republican leaders over transportation funding.
“Does anyone remember a paralysis of Idaho government like this?” Sen. Diane Bilyeu, D-Pocatello, asked.
Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, compared it to the 2003 session, which is the longest in state history at 118 days. This session, the second longest, is now 107 days long.
“That wasn’t a battle of wills between House leadership or Senate leadership. It wasn’t trench warfare or I’m going to win at all costs,” Werk said. “It wasn’t quite so personal.”
To which Bilyeu responded: “It’s like they're playing chicken.”
The Democrats were also not happy about public education funding playing such an important role in the political end game.
“It’s a huge disappointment that public education has become a pawn on the chessboard,” said Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise. “To have this issue being used n the way it’s being used is appalling.”
Several senators said teachers and students were being used as pawns in the political chess game.