We listened to about 4 hours (in Jud/Rules) of testimony and questions on HB221 about Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims. This involves filing claims to more than one trust, and disclosing prior filing. In a close vote, we chose to hold it and rework it for next year.
We have had testimony in Agriculture committee on the quagga mussel funding and setting up and administrator whose focus will be on coordinating with other states and doing whatever is possible to stop the introduction of this invasive species.
We listened to some heart wrenching testimony in the Health & Welfare committee on Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpes type virus which causes serious birth defects. Expectant mothers need to be tested for this virus, and it was determined that Health & Welfare can get this information out without legislation. Nevertheless, it was approved to move to the full House.
HB230 passed in the House, which increases hunting/fishing licenses to help with depredation. I believe we need some serious reform in this agency, and accountability on funds.
Representative Christy Zito attempted to amend HB93 in committee, which extends permitless concealed carry of handguns in city limits to active military members, to all law-abiding citizens. We were unsuccessful in this effort. We also have not yet had a hearing on the Castle Doctrine, and are almost out of time this session. HB220 would have encouraged school districts to offer gun safety training, at their discretion. This was voted down in Education committee. It is disappointing that Idaho is supposed to be a strong 2nd Amendment state, but we have not been able to pass any of these bills.
STEPS FOR SCHOOLS
The Fitbit steps challenge is over and we received checks for our schools this week. I logged in an average of 20,000 steps/day and took 4th place and was awarded $350; younger “kids”/legislators averaged 30,000/day and took the first three awards. I drew a school from each county, plus one from the remaining schools. The following schools will be receiving $100 to help encourage healthy activities for our children:
Lindy Ross Elementary
I will be delivering these checks after session—sometime in April.
From the STEPS FOR SCHOOLS CHALLENGE:
AND THE WINNER IS….THE KIDS!
Wow — we have had some dedicated walkers during this Steps for Schools Challenge!
Legislators walked over 12 MILLION steps during the Steps for Schools Challenge. That’s more than enough to get everyone from Boise to DC and back to Boise again!
The top 5 participants had over5 MILLION steps — that’s more than 1,600 miles!
The Steps for Schools Walking Challenge had HUNDREDS of shares, posts and likes and reached more than 43,000 Idahoans on social media!
In addition to some friendly competition among legislators, this challenge raised the awareness of healthy activities for our youth. Thank you for your part in helping create a fun way for kids to see that there’s more to life than television and smartphones! They’re the real winner of this challenge.
To see the final number of steps walked by each legislator, visit our website, Steps For Schools.
EXPLANATION OF ABORTION BILL 250
On Wednesday, it was a time of tears for many of us, as many legislators felt compelled to vote for HB250. Judge B. Lynn Winmill will soon overturn the ban on webcam abortions, declaring it unconstitutional. According to debate on the House floor, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden did not include vital points, which surely would have changed the outcome of this case. According to David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life, the passage of this bill is a tactical retreat, and I assure you I will work to restore the webcam abortion ban. This is such a dangerous procedure for women and girls—not to mention the precious babies destroyed. If you have more questions, please contact me.
I enjoyed an evening with dairy farmers at the Idaho Dairymen Association banquet. I met Steve Ballard, a hay customer of ours. His operation makes and sells several varieties of cheese; and we each received a box with 3 types of cheese that were donated by Ballard Cheese. We all enjoyed the traditional ice cream bar and some chocolate milk!