One bill presented in Health & Welfare committee this week outlined standards for chiropractors to once again administer IVs and injections as part of their treatments. I have experienced this protocol and heartily endorse it!
I presented my first 2 bills on the House floor this week associated with the Idaho Board of Nursing.
A bill which tracks children’s and adults’ immunizations with an opt-out (rather than opt-in) feature was defeated on the House floor. I testified against passage of HB 91, as I learned personal information could be shared with 9 other entities, with questionable ways to keep it private. This program was touted as voluntary, but others testified the “opt-out” feature often was not offered, or the information remained after requests to remove it were submitted.
In Agriculture committee, we watched an interesting presentation on Amalgamated Sugar. We learned they process about 12% of the nation’s sugar and is the 2nd largest sugar processor in the U.S.
We listened to a presentation on preventing Invasive species in our waters. We saw examples of dams, pipes and beaches that have been infested with quagga and zebra mussels. The working group has several recommendations, including 24-hour inspection hours for some inspection stations, providing stickers at water inspection stations, and an increase in out-of-state boat registration tags.
In Jud/Rules HB123, which bans profiling of motorcycle riders, passed the committee with a “full house” of supporters in the room, dressed in leathers which exemplified profiling paraphernalia. I was a little hesitant to vote for this bill. I like to give law enforcement credit for being fair with everyone, and I also have concerns this may open the floodgates for other special interest groups requesting an exemption from profiling. I also believe we have more serious issues to consider, such as SBAC.
SBAC Testing Not Required – Courtesy of Rep. Ron Nate
Sometimes a bill doesn’t need to pass in order to have an impact. Merely bringing the issue forward causes key decision makers to reconsider current practices, explore alternatives, and respond to citizen input. The bill to repeal the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test is a perfect example. Because of parents’ feedback and legislative pressure, the rules for K-12 education were changed this year. The SBAC test (tied to Common Core) is no longer a graduation requirement for Idaho public school students.
Parents may opt their kids out of SBAC testing and not have to worry about it affecting their graduation plans. This is a big deal for those who have researched the SBAC test, or other standardized testing, and have concerns about how children are affected by them. Parents no longer have to face the difficult choice of having their children take a test they believe is flawed and harmful, versus opting out and being threatened with delayed or denied graduation. The requirement is gone.
But where is the bill? For the third year now, we have seen a bill to repeal the SBAC test stalled in a Committee. The bill does not forbid SBAC tests; instead it removes the requirement for all Idaho school districts to administer the long, expensive, and stressful test to their students. School districts may still choose to use it, but others could opt for a less-expensive and preferable test for their students.
Even though the bill is stalled yet again, its impact is real because of the rescinded SBAC testing graduation requirement. Please spread the word about SBAC testing being OPTIONAL. Parents and children need to know they can opt out, and that districts should NOT apply pressure or impose penalties or consequences for students not taking the test.
House Legislative Page Information
We have enjoyed getting to know the Pages that are here during the session. The Legislative Page Program in the Idaho House of Representatives is for high school seniors between the ages of 17 and 19 only. Students apply in the summer and fall for placement in the upcoming winter session.
The applications are reviewed in early December and accepted applicants will be notified by mail.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Pages perform a variety of duties under the supervision of the Sergeant at Arms. Duties include aiding Committee Secretaries in setting up and taking down meetings, delivering messages, running errands, making copies, and assisting the Legislators and staff. It’s a great program, so if you know a student who may be interested, check it out at Page Program.
Bills of Interest Update – Courtesy of Rep. Ron Nate
Here is an update of some of the key bills working their way through the Capitol.
H67 – Income Tax Cut – Stalled in Senate Finance Committee.
H109 – City referendum elections in all years – Stalled in Local Government Committee.
H110 – Front license plates optional on some vehicles – Failed in the House, 28-42.
H137 – Fix omission in law allowing homeowners to do electrical work on their property – Committee hearing on Feb. 23.
H154 – Transparency in Tax Notices – On amending orders for a change in the bill. House floor vote pending.
H172 – Civil Asset Forfeiture – House Judiciary Committee – new bill introduced on Feb. 21st.
H179 – No Mandatory Minimum Sentencing – House Judiciary Committee.
S1050 – Immunization Exemption Rights – Stalled in Senate H&W Committee.
___ – Repeal Common Core – Stalled in House Education Committee.
___ – Repeal the SBAC Test – Stalled in House Education Committee.
___ – Strengthen/Revise Castle Doctrine – Stalled in House State Affairs Committee.
___ – Concealed Gun Rights Expansion – Stalled in House State Affairs Committee.
___ – Require Informed Consent on Abortion Pills (to give women information about how to reverse a chemical abortion, therefore saving some babies before it’s too late) – In drafting stage. Hearing pending.
___ – Firearms safety classes in high schools – Bill ready for print hearing in House Education Committee.
___ – Electronic publishing of public notices – Stalled in Local Government Comm.
___ – Repeal Health Insurance Exchange – Stalled in Health and Welfare Comm.
___ – Article V Convention – Senate State Affairs Committee.
Memorial Program February 20th
We honored several legislators who have passed away in the last year, including Claude J. Burtenshaw, who represented Madison County in 1953-1954.
Dusty Rae Packer and Jacob Fielding performed “How Great Thou Art”
House members Sage Dixon, John McCrostie, and Luke Malek, and Pastor Tom Dougherty sang “Amazing Grace”
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