Hot Issues in Idaho Legislature
We’re 40 days into the legislative session and more than 500 bills have been printed – that is more than 12 bills per day! There are so many bills that the normal legislative rules are being suspended in order to expedite bills–a sure sign of growing government.
I had the opportunity to eat lunch with Idaho State University ambassadors. The lady sitting to my right is the Student Body Vice-President and she’ll be running for the President’s position next year. It was fun to see their enthusiasm to graduate!
The Governor’s tax reform passed both chambers and will become law even though the claimed “tax cut” actually raises taxes for families of three or more. It was really disappointing to see families penalized in spite of our $400 million budget surplus. Rep. Nate and conservative legislators submitted a trailer bill yesterday to allow for additional tax cuts for families.
Next week H492, 100% service-connected disabled veterans property tax credit, will be given a public hearing in the Senate. Please email the Senate Local Government & Taxation committee with your thoughts about this bill. Your input is very important during this phase of the bill to help augment this lapse.
Hot Issues: Please give me your feedback
Listed below are some of the hot topics currently being discussed at the capitol. I want to represent what the people in district 7 think, not the special interests of those who live in the Treasure Valley. Take a minute and email me your thoughts on these issues.
H563 Plan First Idaho: This legislation passed the House H&W committee with a 7-3 vote. It would use $3.15 million from the General Fund to provide family planning services to women between the age of 19-44 whose family income is below 133% of the federal poverty level. While proponents argue that it would not fund abortions, concern citizens think the language provides a mechanism for taxpayer funded chemical abortions. The bill will be voted on by the entire House on Monday. You can read the contents of the legislation here. Do you think this is a good use of taxpayer money?
HJR8 Marsy’s Law: After three hours of testimony on Monday, Marsy’s law passed the House State Affairs committee by a narrow margin and will be up for a full House vote on Monday. This proposed Idaho Constitutional Amendment claims that it will provide “equal rights” for crime victims, yet there are already victim’s rights in the constitution; they just want to change a few of the words, to include the definition of a victim. A victim would now include anyone claiming to be a victim, before a crime has even been confirmed.
The change will cost Idahoans over $700,000 and continue to cost the state half a million dollars annually. If the resolution passes the House on Monday, you’ll see it on the ballot in November. A 2017 BSU study found over 20 ways to help Idaho victims, yet Marsy’s law doesn’t take into account one of those recommendations. We need Idaho solutions for Idaho problems, not Californian billionaire’s lobby efforts. Please study this issue so you’ll be fully informed. Linked here. (Meanwhile, the conservative alternative-victim protection act-is being withheld from a public hearing.)
H658 Updated Trespassing/Property Rights: Last week I heard from you about H536 and people expressed concerns about the proposal. Today, a new bill was drafted that is several pages longer. Recreationists have expressed concerns that their inputs were
ignored during the re-write. Please review the 20 pages of new trespassing laws and let me know if you think it is a good idea for Idaho. New language linked here.
Facts I’ve Learned:
– In 2017, Idaho welcomed 246 Refugees from 9 different countries
-The Idaho Press Tribune prints 17,000 newspapers daily
-The company Tsheets has been ranked “the best place to work in Idaho” for 3 years in a row
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