Where we bring you fresh opinions on Idaho government, observations on life in general, great recipes, and an opportunity to comment on them all!

RSS Feeds, Etc.

Get New Posts Via Email! Enter your e-mail address and hit the 'Subscribe' button. Your address will never be sold or spammed.


Where we bring you fresh opinions on Idaho government, great recipes, and an opportunity to comment on them!.





Conservative News

General Interest

Idaho Falls Links

Idaho Politics

Left-Leaning Idaho

Libertarian Links

Pro-life Organizations

Jerry Sproul, CPA

Please take a moment to visit our sponsors!

Idaho House Highlights: February 18

February 18th, 2009 by Halli

From Representative Tom Loertscher, R-31

This week marked the introduction of the one hundredth bill in the
House and it is that time of session when ideas seem to be coming at us
from every direction. Some of the pieces that came forward are
generating emails and phone calls and will undoubtedly provide a lot of
discussion over the next few weeks.

One of those items has to do with public school teacher salaries and it
would lift the requirement that a teacher cannot be paid less than the
previous year. This is not palatable for anyone but we have limited
choices as we get closer to budget crunch time. One choice would be to
have layoffs and increase class size, another is to allow districts the
flexibility to cut salaries. The third option would be to raise taxes.
And legislators including myself are wondering how anyone wins with
those choices.

One of the favorite things to do in some committee meetings is to
decide not to decide, especially when it seems there is a lack of
understanding of the issue. That is what happened in the State Affairs
Committee this last week while we were hearing a bill that would change
the benefit for state retirees health coverage. Moving the retired state
workers from the state plan would save the state (aka the taxpayers)
millions over the next few years. The committee needed some time for
further review and to identify any potential adverse affects. It is a
very complex issue and will be looked at again this coming week.

The revenue numbers came in for January and they continue to decline at
a faster rate than we have ever seen. It was down another thirty three
million dollars and that is causing another look at every state budget
for the current fiscal year. As that started to occur this week I got to
thinking that we are probably going about this the wrong way. In the
private sector when we have hard times come we start evaluating what we
are doing and then we stop doing the things that are not absolutely
necessary. This is the time we should at least be evaluating programs
and eliminate those that are not needed. If we just reduce everything by
some percentage then the programs just remain in place to live again
another day.

At home this week I was asked several times about the Federal
“Stimulus” Package. What would it do for Idaho? Is Idaho going to
be willing to take what is going to be dished out?

I answered in this manner. Every time lawmakers either state or federal
pass bills in a big hurry they make big mistakes. This has been done too
fast and no one knows what all is in the thing. We don’t know what
strings are going to be attached and you can bet there will be plenty of
them. The bigger question now is, are we going to be willing to sell
ourselves to the federal government? I view this as the biggest power
grab in the history of America. So much for states’ rights.

I believe it was Margaret Thatcher that said something like, “These
spending plans ultimately fail because at some point you run out of
other peoples’ money.” By the way, do you have any idea how much a
trillion dollars is? I have a hard enough time using the word billion.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Copyright © 2oo6 by Powered by Wordpress          
Ported by ThemePorter - template by Design4 | Sponsored by Cheap Web Hosting