BOISE - A trio of northern Idaho representatives voted against the 2016 public schools budgets Monday, less than a week after they passed the Senate unanimously.

Rep. Shannon McMillan, R-Silverton, voted against six of the seven budgets. The only one she supported was an $8.9 million appropriation for the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind.

McMillan represents Idaho, Clearwater, Shoshone and part of Bonner County. She declined to explain her vote following the floor session. She previously refused to explain her vote against the $125 million career ladder teacher pay plan, which is a central component of the school budgets.

The seven K-12 budget bills cover such things as children's programs, facilities, administration expenses and the teacher salary appropriation. The combined budgets total $1.81 billion, including $1.476 billion in state support.

McMillan was joined by Reps. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, and Kathleen Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, in opposing the teacher salary appropriation bill. They were the only lawmakers in either the House or Senate to do so. The budget for the School for the Deaf and Blind passed unanimously; the remaining school bills passed with seven or fewer no votes.

As she did last year and the year before, McMillan has voted against almost every appropriations bill this session, including funding for State Hospital North in Orofino and the North Idaho Correctional Institution in Cottonwood, as well as the Division of Medicaid, Division of Welfare, the indigent health care program and Department of Fish and Game.

She was one of three people to vote against the 2016 legislative budget, which covers the operation of the state's legislative branch, including lawmaker salaries and benefits.


Spence may be contacted at or (208) 791-9168.

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