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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 4

March 4th, 2013 by Halli

by Representative Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

During the week I caught two Capitol press corps reporters standing on the sidewalk east of the Capitol comparing notes and writing like crazy in their little notebooks. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to stop and visit with them. I told them that they reminded me of what a former State Senator, Dane Watkins, had said about these types of situations. “All we know is what we tell each other,” was how he put it.

For those of you who have followed the Legislature over a period of time, you would probably say that this is about the time of the session when things start to get a little interesting. Currently we are between the stages where the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee is setting budgets and when we start to see them for action on the floor of the House. So far, all we have seen are the corrections to the current year’s budget that we set last year. This is a normal activity around here because we find adjustments are needed because things have changed since the budget was set.

Second Amendment legislation is progressing in the House. Two of the measures passed the House this past week, one of which was the bill that provides for an enhanced concealed carry permit. It would make our permits recognized in several other states that don’t currently do so. Those who hold existing permits will continue on as they now are. Two other Second Amendment bills cleared the State Affairs Committee and were sent to the full House. One of those bills generated public comment of a very emotional nature. One person who testified crossed over the line and it was necessary that I use the gavel to reinforce our efforts to deal with these emotional issues in a civil manner. I for one am grateful that these are very rare occasions.

There has been some discussion about federal sequestration and its effect on Idaho, but no changes have been made in our current budget to reflect anything that is happening along those lines, at least not yet. The number crunchers are working behind the scenes to determine if and by how much corrections in our budgets need to be made.

There is still much talk around these halls about the personal property tax issue, but as of this writing there has still been no legislation proposed to deal with the issue. I was reading one of the newspapers over the weekend and one of the comments there was that local government entities and all other taxing districts have been very effective in having their points of view heard. It’s my best guess at this point, that the proposal has lost some of its traction.

Health exchange legislation has still not be been heard in the House Health and Welfare Committee. The lobbying effort has been extraordinary but an even bigger effort has been made by our constituents at home. There is no doubt about how our folks feel about it, they are about 90% opposed. To say that we live in interesting times is definitely an understatement.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, National Sovereignty, Politics in General, Presidential Politics, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

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