- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow public universities and colleges to opt out of some state services if they show they can provide the service cheaper or more efficiently.

Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Wendy Horman says the legislation will give Idaho’s higher education institutions the flexibility to manage their own administrative infrastructures in ways that could reduce costs for students. For instance, schools could opt out of the state’s risk management insurance program or the Idaho Technology Authority if they can obtain those services more cheaply or efficiently through a competitive bidding process.

The schools would have to get approval from the State Baord of Education and give the Department of Administration 18 months of notice before making a change.

House lawmakers approved the bill in a 53-14 vote; opponents said it could increase costs for other state agencies if a school opts out of an insurance program, reducing the risk pool.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

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