Mr. Speaker, I resemble that remark

A light moment from Tuesday’s lengthy debate on House Bill 206, which would provide facilities money to charter schools.

The bill passed, 42-27, with opponents saying the state couldn’t afford to incur the new expense.

Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, said the needs are great in regular public schools, including in rural Idaho.

That prompted Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, to rise in objection to what he heard as a smear on charter schools.

“Charter schools are REAL schools, too!” said Nielsen.

Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, corrected Nielsen, saying, “Gentleman, I believe the lady said, ‘rural’ schools.”

Nielsen apologized and voted with the majority. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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