March 1, 2015
March 1, 2015
February 25, 2015
February 23, 2015
Summary of Week 5:
SENATOR MIKE CRAPO – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo will kick off the 2015 Congressional Forum hosted by the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce. Senator Crapo will review the latest federal issues in the 114th Congress and answer questions on February 19th from noon to 1:00 p.m. at The Grove Hotel.
GARY STEVENS HONORED – This week Senator Jim Rice, on behalf of the Agricultural Affairs Committee, proposed a Senate Concurrent Resolution to honor Gary Stevens for his outstanding career and accomplishments in horse racing. Born and raised in Caldwell, Idaho, Gary Stevens won his first race at Les Bois Park in Boise at the age of sixteen. Mr. Stevens accomplished three wins in the Kentucky Derby and was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, an honor voted on by peers based on character, leadership and career achievement. Gary is also a sports commentator and portrayed George Woolf in the 2003 Oscar nominated movie”Seabiscuit”. In 2013, Mr. Stevens came out of retirement, returning to the track and winning 69 of 383 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the prestigious Preakness Stakes atop Oxbow.
HISTORICAL HORSE RACING – Following two days of testimony and discussion, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted on legislation to repeal a form of gambling known as historic horse racing. The bill was sent to the Senate floor by the Committee with a”do pass” recommendation on an 8 to 1 vote. Opponents of the bill argued that the wagering terminals are lawful pari-mutuel gambling machines and are needed to help save the horse racing industry. Proponents of the bill argued that the machines are not lawful and violate the Idaho Constitution. Some Legislators voiced concerns that these slot-like machines are not the same machines described to the Legislature in 2013. The majority of the committee felt the gambling machines violate Article III Section 20 of the Idaho Constitution, which prohibits gambling devices that imitate or simulate casino gambling such as slot machines.
EDUCATION – Ron Pisaneschi, Director at Idaho Public Television, presented an overview of its programs to the Senate Education Committee this week. IPT is actively expanding in the area of online streaming. IPT’s research showed that its viewers still watch more hours per week of television (37 hours) than online videos (1.1 hours). Last year in June, IPT won a Regional Emmy for its program”Outdoor Idaho”. In partnership with the State Board of Education, IPT is working on a program titled,”Journey to College”. This program features a young woman from Idaho who never thought a college education was possible as she works for a brighter future by achieving her associates degree. IPT also plans to release a new program this fall titled,”Gorongosa”, which is about a project to restore a national park in Mozambique devastated by 16 years of war. Local Idahoans are directly involved in this project.
Concealed Weapons Permits – Senate bill 1090 was printed that reorganizes the CWP/ECWP programs while clarifying definitions and instructor training allowances to become a certified instructor. It also removes the exemption for “elected officials” to automatically carry a concealed weapon just because they are elected. It would make all state reciprocity agreements available to the public as well. Idaho now has the most reciprocity agreements in the US at 37 when a citizen gets an Enhanced Concealed Weapons permit, these states include all surrounding states to Idaho (OR needs separate paperwork, however). I personally went through this training over the summer and although I’ve had quite a bit of training, learned things about carrying concealed that I was not aware of. I’ve never had concerns about how well Idahoans shoot, I do have concerns about if they know when to shoot while not getting themselves in trouble. Laws in this state have changed a great deal over the last few years, if you don’t keep up with them and carry… I would suggest an annual refresher!
Thanks again for allowing me to represent you in the Idaho Senate, I apologize for not getting to this weeks summary sooner.
February 18, 2015
…there are statutory issues with the bill as it’s now written. I’ve tried to tell the bill sponsor since the beginning and was the legislator who authorized him to draft the bill (I “Purple slipped” it)… I asked him at that time get language drafted through LSO to shop it around to all the stakeholders and to make sure he not only had the votes to get it passed, but that there were no unintended consequences. Unfortunately, there are issues and that action was not undertaken. It’s language conflicts with 18-3302k where we have the laws outlining how we now issue CWPs and also puts at risk our reciprocity with WA and NV (for our ECWP). I know he says it doesn’t, however, I have done the homework that should have been done and shopped it with many lawyers and law enforcement that have pointed out the same issue… An easy find on my part and likely the first of many concerns that would come up in a hearing. I support the concept, but I, and I suspect many other legislators, cannot support language that risks what we have achieved with our reciprocity and CWP accesses in our state and surrounding states so far.
This is not a matter of who wrote the bill or who supports the concept, it’s a matter of the unintended consequences that it appears are not even being discussed and lack of flexibility to address them. Instead, many have resorted to “full steam ahead, damned the torpedoes”, name calling and worse: frustrating those good people who have stood with all our pro-gun legislation in the past like Speaker Bedke, Sen. Davis and Chairman Loertscher… risking any pro-gun legislation support they might consider giving us in the future. I have one vote, I am likely one of the most pro-gun legislators here in our Capital (and have been involved with every pro-gun bill since I started in ’07 to get them drafted/passed), but you need 36 votes in the House, 18 in the Senate and the Governor to be onboard to pass anything… that’s how it works here for any change in statute. H87 was not even run by the Gov’s office to get their thoughts on the language (of course I’m sure he said he supports the concept as well, but it’s the language in statute that he must sign!). Not doing the homework before hand and getting the real vote count on that language and the people onboard who you will need to pass a bill will kill it quickly, I’ve learned that the hard way. This homework has not been done on H87… Change happens slowly in our system, it’s meant to so we don’t knee-jerk our Idaho codes with the wind and emotions, building the coalition of people you need in order to create that change is how it happens. Those needed actions are the opposite of what has happened with H87.
Today we take a moment to memorialize those Senators who’ve served before us. Sen Cameron is now reminding us of the history of Gov (Sen) John V. Evans
February 16, 2015