AFTON (WNE) — State Rep. Evan Simpson, R-Afton, says the Recalibration Committee has set a 6.5% cut to education in House Bill 61 before it will go on for debate and public comment in the legislative session.

He says Governor Mark Gordon asked for a 10% cut, but it was decided that may be too large of a cut to the programs.

“The Education Committee chairman has decided to wait until we’re live to actually debate those on the floor,” Simpson said. “So while there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, nothing is actually going to be surfaced in terms of tangible effort on the bill until March.”

Co-chair of the Recalibration Committee, Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, says it will cut K-12 education by $100 million per year. He says the goal right now is how to best roll this bill out so the Legislature can receive public comment.

“That bill is really a vehicle on the discussion on how we want to fund K-12 education going forward,” Sommers said in a digital press conference. “How we want to manage our shortfall.”

He says that it may depend on how things roll out in the last week of February, but there may be an opportunity then to start receiving public comments. He says after that there could be items added to or taken away from the bill as debate moves forward.

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