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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, April 4

April 4th, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Now that the dust has settled for about a week, it might be a good time to report on some of the things that have happened in the session as a whole and the last week as well. In some ways it was not a typical year but then there is some commonality as well.

As happens every year there is a race on between the House and the Senate to see who can finish first. We in the house don’t win that too often because we seem to have several amended House Bills come back for concurring in amendments and final action. Leadership could have held us there into the wee hours of Friday morning but after last year’s 2:00 AM finish they decided that was not a good idea.

You have undoubtedly read about some of the more publicized legislation that passed so I will mention some things that are significant but did not receive so much press.

We passed HJR 5 which amends the Idaho Constitution to protect the ability of the legislature to review rules of state agencies. The rules review process has been an invaluable tool for the legislature in making sure that agencies administer the law and not make law.

I was visiting with a grain elevator owner the other day and told him about the rule of the Department of Agriculture that would have required them to report from whom they purchased grain, the quantities of such grain, the variety and quality and the purchase price. He told me that such a requirement would have caused great expense and just more things they would have to report. Who would pay the added cost of the regulation? The producer would. That rule was rejected by the legislature. HJR 5 now goes for a vote of the people in November.

Also not much talked about was a bill that will prohibit the harvesting and selling of body parts from aborted unborn children. Unpleasant though it is to talk about, the whole country was shocked last year as videos of the practice were revealed. The legislature passed this as a means of preventing this happening in Idaho.

Property rights legislation of significance was a bill that would allow either party, a land owner or the county to apply in writing to have a road right-of-way issue heard by a judge that is not resident in the county where the property is located. It is of course a longer story than that, but will make sure a property owner has a fair shot in court.

And as is the case at the end of the session in an election year, we have the opportunity to say so long to those from the body who have chosen not to run again. Rep. Linden Bateman is one of those and sat next to me on the House floor for the last two years. His love for Idaho is unique. Being a teacher by profession, he taught us Idaho history at every opportunity. He sponsored a bill this year to require testing to include questions about Idaho history. He was broken hearted when the Senate Education Committee would not vote his bill out of committee. He has been regarded as a prince of a man and a great friend.

To all of those who will not be returning, thank you for the time you have given on behalf of Idaho.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Property Rights, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

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