A Quick Summary of the Last Couple Weeks in the Idaho Senate…

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A number of bills are really starting to roll through committees and come to the floor for consideration and vote in the Senate (the same is going on in the House) now that we have completed most of our rules reviews. Once a bill is passed or fails on the floor of each body, it’s referred to the other body for consideration and vote. Any bill that passes both bodies, will then go to the Governor for his consideration and signature or veto. The list below are just a few of the bills and things that have happened in the last couple weeks:
The Idaho State Senate made history by working together as a body to determine whether or not to adopt the report from the State Affairs Committee regarding the most recent contest of election in District 29. It was determined the contest of election was not reasonably based on factual evidence or law and the committee report was adopted by a unanimous vote. The Senate also found that the contestant should be responsible to pay the costs and attorneys fees incurred by Senator Nye in defending against the challenge. The last time the state of Idaho had a contest of election was in the early 1980’s.
Agencies are requesting more funding this legislative session. For some it is an attempt to slow down the rate of turnover amongst employees. Others are updating infrastructure or technology. Idaho State University is requesting $3,384,900.00 more in funding than was appropriated last year at this time. They feel it is important to invest in the future as well as ISU’s energy program. Idaho State University is currently working on a driver less car. They believe it will be helpful in the Agriculture Industry.
Idaho Transportation Department delivered a progress report to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Transportation Committees. The Idaho Transportation Department shared that there has been a massive improvement in the department, including public transportation, snow removal, and overall efficiency. After the joint committee meeting approximately 20 individuals, 15 of whom were legislatures toured the new underground public transportation terminal.
In Joint Finance Appropriations Committee $64,900.00 ongoing funds were moved from general funds to Office of the Governor for cyber security.
The Senate Commerce Committee approved a significant rewrite of the safety rules regarding logging operations in the state of Idaho. These rules were the result of a collaborative effort between the logging industry and the Division of Building Safety. In the Senate Education Committee Senate Bill 1014 (regarding a school’s technology plan being submitted to the State Department of Education) was held at the call of the Chairman. Senate Bill 1015 (revising definitions and technical corrections) was sent to the Senate floor with a due pass recommendation. Mary Spiker, of Pocatello Idaho, was named teacher of the year. She shared her concern that economic poverty negatively affects our students’ ability to learn. She also expressed that she has witnessed economic poverty contributing to misbehavior, lack of critical thinking, lack of hygiene and lack of empathy.
Senate Bill 1004 (Revising Nursing Board Compensation) passed the Senate Floor unanimously. For some time statutory compensation paid to the Board of Nursing members for public service on the Board has remained at $50.00 per day. The purpose of this legislation is to provide a modest upward adjustment in Board member compensation in order to adjust for inflation (this compensation is paid for by the members licensing and is a separate, dedicated fund managed by the members board).
Senate Bill 1028 passed the Senate Floor with a unanimous vote. This legislation will establish a dedicated fund for underground storage tank fees to provide for better accountability, transparency, inspections and management of the inventory of underground storage tanks. This will allow the legislature and state controller to view all revenues and expenditures from the Statewide Accounting and Reporting System (STARS). The Department of Environmental Quality will be able to complete an accurate fee expenditure report from the information in this system. Additionally using a dedicated fund will earn interest. This approach may potentially increase the funds balance, and decrease fees in subsequent years to the owners of these tanks that require annual inspections.
Senate Bill 1029 passed the Senate floor with unanimous support. This amends Idaho Code authorizing students to enroll in dual credit courses regardless of whether or not they are participating in advanced opportunities (Fast Forward for Overload, Dual Credit, Advanced Placement and Baccalaureate) funded by the state. This legislation makes a technical amendment to clarify that the credits could be academic or career technical as applicable to the course being completed.
In the Senate Transportation Committee RS 25143 has been sent to print so it is now Senate Bill 1052. The Purpose of this legislation is to amend Idaho Code Sections 63-2402, 63-2423, 63-2427A, and 63-2427B by removing dyed fuel exemption or references of dyed fuel from the motor fuel tax. This legislation would also repeal section 63-2425 relating to dyed fuel. This proposal removes the necessity of dyed diesel. It would eliminate the need to enforce and sanction unauthorized use of dyed diesel fuel. This would leave one diesel fuel (clear) in the marketplace for all users. There is a system in place for off road diesel usage, as well as system for state and local units of government to purchase fuel without paying the state and federal taxes. For off road diesel usage one would be able to apply for a refund as frequently as monthly but no longer than annually.
After much discussion the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee has sent Senate Bill 1007 to the Senate Floor with Do Pass Recommendation. The purpose of this legislation is to authorize the Board of Professional Engineers and Surveyors to require mediation of disputes between licensed land surveyors. The Board only determines whether professional disciplinary action is necessary; they do not make binding determinations on whether a property boundary is correct in a survey. The desired outcome of this legislation is to help reduce the prospect of litigation involving conflicts between surveyors.
The Senate Education Committee has sent Senate Bill 1041 to the Senate Floor with a Do Pass Recommendation. This bill would modify the Public Education Stabilization Fund statue. It would require the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee to consider transferring funds into the Public Education Stabilization Fund in the same amount that was withdrawn the previous year to fund K-12 education. The purpose of this legislation is to maintain educational funding stability in the future.
Senate Health and Welfare Committee has printed S1060. The purpose of this legislation would be to ensure women in Idaho and their doctors have access to the most up-to-date information available regarding cytomegalovirus (CMV) prevention, infection, and treatment. This would foreseeably prevent the infection of numerous babies in utero, and consequently save the State of Idaho millions of dollars in care and treatment. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is virus, which is passed through bodily fluids. It can cause hearing loss, blindness, among many other things. It is widespread within and outside of United States borders and oftentimes asymptomatic. It is not well known in the United States medical field. The only treatment is located in Europe and considered experimental.
All of these bills and their proposed language changes can be found at www.legislature.idaho.gov www.legislature.idaho.gov under the 2017 Session Icon.

Today’s sunshine makes me hopeful summer will soon come!

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This can be looked at as a positive step for the generation looking for flatter noses and more pointed ears! ;-)

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wapo.st/2j9eJLs

Mother Nature loses this round! Ice chipping, shoveling and plowing has the driveway clear!

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Another peaceful transition of power… Proud to have served to protect it

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This will be my last term in the , have learned a lot & want to apply that to my next endeavor. Intend on being ID’s next Lt Gov!!!:

Thank You…

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A historic 90%+ voter turnout in District 14 and winning every precinct, thank you for your confidence and trust in me to represent you for another 2 years.

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