Community Blog: The EDge

Mat Erpelding’s old-school debate

You never know what lawmakers will reveal about themselves during debate.

So it was Wednesday, when first-year Rep. Mat Erpelding stood up to debate against a bill that would offer $10 million in income tax credits to donors who support private school scholarships.

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Rep. Mat Erpelding, D-Boise

Erpelding, a Boise Democrat, said he attended Catholic school — describing himself, ruefully, as a difficult kid to manage. His parents paid Catholic school tuition and taxes to support public schools — and never sought a tax credit.

To laughter in the House chamber, Erpelding reminisced about the nuns “who slammed me around for not tucking in my shirt.” Which isn’t to say the nuns didn’t do a great job, Erpelding said.

“Look at me.”

House Speaker Scott Bedke couldn’t resist chiming in. “Is there objection?” Bedke asked colleagues.

More reading: Here’s my story on the debate over House Bill 286, the tax credit bill, which passed the House 35-33 Wednesday.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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