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Rep. Sage G. Dixon Update Week 1

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns

Moyie River Canyon Bridge, Bonners Ferry, Idaho (flickr.com)

Rep. Sage G. Dixon Update Week 1

Rep. Sage G. Dixon – District 1
January 17, 2018

Floor Session:

This being the first week of the 2018 Legislative Session, the House floor sessions were predominately procedural, and short.  The exception to this was Monday Jan 8th, in which the Governor gave his “State of the State” address.  We were joined on the House Floor by the Senate,the Idaho Supreme Court, all Constitutional officers of the State, and had a full gallery and VIP section.

While there were, again,one or two points to appreciate, such as easing the pressure on businesses by lowering the unemployment tax rate, and income tax relief, overall it was an expansive agenda that focused on additional funding for both K-12 and Higher education, as well as extensive Health and Welfare Funding.

This year I am again serving on The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee.  My afternoon Committees remain the same as my first term in office: Transportation and Defense, and Business.

Committee Reports:

JFAC:
Although the first week is usually quiet for Committee work, JFAC starts off quickly.  Tuesday was a review of the Governor’s recommended budget, and a review of the budgeting process.  Wednesday brought special hearings on Employee Group Health Insurance, and Graduate Medical Education.  We also held our first budget hearings from the Executive Office of the Governor, the Division of Financial Management, and the Legislative Services Office.On Thursday we heard the needs of the Public Education Stabilization Fund, and began to hear what are known as “deficiency warrants’, and “supplemental appropriations”.

A rough explanation would be that deficiency warrants are effectively outstanding bills that agencies have had to pay beyond their appropriated annual budget, and supplemental appropriations are requests for money above the annual budget that cannot wait until the next budgeting cycle.  Friday was more budget hearings from the Office of Drug Policy, the Division of Veterans Services, and the Division of Human Resources.

The following are the deficiency warrants and supplementals we heard:

Dept. of Agriculture:         deficiency warrant for invasive pest control                   $209,800
Dept. of Agriculture:         supplemental request for organic inspectors                 $300,000
Soil/Water Commission:  supplemental request for  sagebrush restoration             $25,000
Dept. of Health/Welfare:  supplemental request for KW lawsuit compliance          $311,500
Dept. of Health/Welfare:  supplemental request for Jeff D settlement                    $644,600
Dept. of Correction:         supplemental request for attorney and audit fees          $491,000
Dept. of Correction:         supplemental request for attorney fees                            $38,500
Industrial Commission:    supplemental request for retirement vacation payout      $16,900
Self-Governing Agencies:supplemental request for medical boards                        $37,300
Self-Governing Agencies:supplemental request for regulatory boards                    $30,000

Transportation & Defense:
We did not meet this week

Business:
Solely an introductory meeting that assigned sub-committees on rules.

I encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent District 1 in The Idaho House of Representatives.

Lord Bless,
Sage G. Dixon

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