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This Isn’t Any Way to Run a Railroad – Rep. Dorothy Moon

The big money bills always lay waiting for the last days of session to bite like alligators in a steamy swamp.

This Isn't Any Way to Run a Railroad - Rep. Dorothy Moon

This Isn’t Any Way to Run a Railroad

by Rep. Dorothy Moon – District 8

While many of you are admiring daffodil blossoms opening to this Sunday morning, I’m watching the thermometer and wondering if I’ll see blooms here before Memorial Day.  Six degrees outside my door and snow over the top of the deck that is perched almost 5 feet above natural grade.  The snow that slides off the roof has built up a mountain surrounding the deck that obscures even sunlight. This is not the norm even at these elevated heights in April. 

     Although the landscape reflects a beautiful scene of white, the pending melt bodes of extreme high water when spring finally arrives in the Rockies. Nature seems to have a way of imposing her will on man’s bigger plans. After the snow slides this winter with all the highway havoc I’m nervously thinking about mud slides, tree clogged bridge crossings and washed out river banks. Those areas burned in last summer’s Pioneer fire will be most at risk.

     It’s been a while since there has been snow like this but it remains well within living memory.  The record flood waters of 1974 along the Salmon River are vivid in my husband’s mind.  Could this year’s snow pack and cold temperatures be signaling a change coming?  I think so, even though you may have heard last summer was the hottest on record.  Maybe nature has other plans that are otherwise politically incorrect.

It was a mad scramble of legislation as the session rolled to a bumpy close.  It’s no secret jamming 40 pounds of groceries in a 10-pound sack won’t get you to the car. Try cramming 334 House Bills, 206 Senate Bills and then Concurrent Resolutions, Joint Memorials, Joint Resolutions, House and Senate Resolutions in an 80-day session and fully contemplate the infinite unintended consequences. 

     Spending tax dollars on a runaway budget seems to be no problem, but getting a small grocery tax relief bill signed into law might be a heavy lift. Even drunken sailors would have felt a tinge of guilt after spending a $140 million-dollar surplus to a $300 million-dollar deficit.  The Governor’s budget packed more than 8% of additional spending for the year in a mad dash for your cash.

     Structural reform of government is necessary, even in little ol’ Idaho.  The big money bills always lay waiting for the last days of session to bite like alligators in a steamy swamp. No, we couldn’t hear about fixing the roads in February even though we knew it was going to be a big snow damage year. Wait till the legislators are thinking of home, their own soft beds and dinner with family to pull out the piggy bank. They shook it upside down till nothing more came out and then someone in the back yelled out “let’s borrow the money from the Feds”.  Don’t you just love the yap you hear that Idaho balances their budget every year.  Yes we do, with the money 4th graders may have appreciated in their pockets when they think about the car and mortgage they might have afforded in 2032.

     Please, if you need to reach me, my email is dmoon@house.idaho.gov or you can call me in my home at 208-838-3714 or my cell 208-781-1782.