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BOISE -- Legislative leaders say Gov. C.L. Butch Otter's 33-member panel investigating proposals to revamp Idaho's public education system come the 2014 session is all well and good.

But it won't stop lawmakers from acting sooner, if they think it's necessary.

Otter convened group last month, seeking to craft consensus measures that avoid the defeat voters delivered Nov. 6 to public schools chief Tom Luna's education overhaul.

But Friday, House Speaker Scott Bedke said Otter's Gang of 33 won't necessarily halt the Legislature's own proposals.

Bedke said the executive and legislative branches of government are separate but equal and should enjoy the prerogative to strike out on their own.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett raised the warning that voters sent a strong November message: They don't want politicians driving the debate.

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