Week eleven brought very long days as the momentum to adjourn on Good Friday approaches warp speed. I'm slowing down long enough to highlight some matters from this week that warrant special attention.
SB1114aa, which passed 25-10, makes significant changes to Idaho's system of behavioral health care and the extent to which such care is funded (or under-funded, hence my ...<< MORE >>
Week Nine and agency budget-setting concluded today in the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) although subsequent meetings may be held at the call of the chair. Setting the budget for fiscal year 2014 and getting the appropriations bills through both chambers is the bellwether for going home. This milestone today could signal the potential for the session concluding before April begins. However, we are still moving a revised health insurance exchange bill through both chambers and the ...<< MORE >>
Week Eight ends as March begins and there are welcome hints of spring to brighten ongoing legislative challenges.
Senate bill 1108 was introduced in State Affairs today with testimony (and voting) to resume on Monday. This bill would restrict the initiative/referendum power granted to the people by the Idaho Constitution (<< MORE >>
Week six brings us to what may be the halfway point of the 2013 session although we still confront several complex issues that could extend
our time in Boise into mid-April.
Last week I discussed the controversy surrounding the confirmation of Joan Hurlock to the Idaho Fish & Game Commission. After a lengthy debate that divided our colleagues across the aisle, the Senate voted 19-16 to reject her appointment. I want to reiterate that Ms. Hurlock is ...<< MORE >>
Week five and we are almost finished with rules review and gubernatorial appointments. But there was one appointment that caused a bit of controversy this week in the Senate Resources & Environment Committee; the confirmation of Joan Hurlock of Buhl to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission (Magic Valley Region). Ms. Hurlock was<< MORE >>
As we complete week four, the pace in the Statehouse is accelerating. In the continuing debate over the future of education in Idaho, 7 bills were introduced in the Senate (4 bills) and House (3 bills) Education Committees to limit teachers' collective bargaining rights, some echoing elements from Proposition 1 that voters rejected last November. The bills were introduced by the Idaho School Boards Association but do not enjoy ...<< MORE >>
Week three at the Idaho Capitol and a lot of the focus was on "Education Week" in the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee where budget
requests covering kindergarten through higher ed were presented. All eyes were on Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna as he returned to the Legislature with his first budget request
since the overwhelming defeat of his "Students Come First" proposals in the November election.
His 2013-14 budget represents a ...<< MORE >>