BOISE -- Representatives voted to reverse scheduled cuts to teacher salaries that had been part of last year's Students Come First education overhaul.

Thursday's vote was 59-9, with only Democrats opposing the package that's a critical part of lawmakers' plan to adjourn by Thursday evening or Friday.

Last year, legislators cut $35 million over five years from teacher salaries, redirecting cash to education reforms including merit pay and new technology.

Rep. Bob Nonini of Coeur d'Alene told lawmakers that reversing those planned cuts keeps a promise to bolster salaries once tax revenue recovered and money was available.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

Democratic Rep. Shirley Ringo argued against the bill, saying its provision that boosts beginning teacher salaries more than for experienced teachers sends the wrong message to older educators.

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