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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highligts – March 17

March 17th, 2014 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

After arriving home for the weekend, I took a few minutes to wander outside the house and take a look around. There was no wind to speak of and no cloud cover to be seen. There was however a beautiful full moon and it was scarcely necessary to turn the lights on in order to get around. After being in Boise for the week it was a pleasant experience to be able to just observe such a beautiful sight.

I think if you were to ask almost anyone in the House they would tell you that it was an exhausting week. Usually, a couple of weeks before the session ends each year, there is a lull with very few things on the third reading calendar. This year however, our calendar has been full and out of necessity we worked a couple of days into the evening in order to clear the legislation from the board. As a result of that we have in excess of sixty new laws passed in two days.

Probably the most memorable of debates in the House was a bill about lengthening the terms for highway district commissioners. After the discussion started the Majority Leader stood and made an impassioned plea in opposition to the bill. The assistant Minority Leader then spoke about not very often agreeing on matters with the previous gentlemen, and then just said, “Amen.”

All of this “jamming” of legislation through the process reminds me of a quote I heard someplace. “When you hurry you are more apt to make mistakes.” That certainly is the case as we move very rapidly through legislation in the final days of the session. It seems like every year when we act in haste that we pass legislation that may have consequences that we did not anticipate. When that happens we find ourselves in the situation of having to fix things in the future. So when we get in a big hurry around this place I sometimes think we would be better off if we would take just a little bit more time. As a result of jamming things through at the pace we have been over the past few days, it looks like it is possible for us to adjourn by March 21. That of course depends on whether or not we have some sort of wreck along the way.

There have been some sharp disagreements over the rules of the Racing Commission and we now find ourselves deeply scrutinizing those rules and trying to make a decision about what to do with them. It’s awfully late in the session to be doing so, but the House State Affairs Committee wants to make the right decision, especially when it concerns wagering.

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “He who sows hurry reaps indigestion.” In the legislature however, hurry seems to reap inferior law in addition to indigestion. So with Tums in hand, we’ll hustle to the end of the session.

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

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