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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, 27 March 2017

March 29th, 2017 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

As we came to this session, I thought it was interesting that House and Senate Leadership set a target date for getting our work completed and calling it a day. It is easy to do that given how long it takes for the budget committee (JFAC) to go through their processes and then allowing for the normal time to get those bills through both bodies and to the governor. That calculation would have ended the session on March 24th. Also a reality in most sessions is that there is always a potential for a train wreck or two that could gum up the works.

As is also normal for us, the volume of bills in the last few days of the session dramatically increases and are jammed through. In spite of our best efforts to avoid the end of session “bubble” this year, it happened anyway. So, at this writing it looks like there will be another few days needed to wrap it up. In addition to a few budget bills, there are two that we need to address, taxes and transportation.

One day this week we voted on the appropriations for Public Schools. Although there are several parts to that budget, the total exceeds two billion dollars. Those half dozen or so bills passed the full House quite handily in about thirty minutes, without debate. There has to be a record of some kind in that. The following day was Higher Education Day. One of those bills that spent about forty million dollars took an hour and a half of vigorous debate but passed easily as well. The day after that was Health and Welfare appropriations that exceeded two billion dollars passed in a short period of time, again with little debate. At any rate it was a lot of your money that was spent those three days. So, most of the money is gone as our good friends on JFAC would say.

And speaking of train wrecks, we finally got around to having one. As a result we slowed down enough to get us back to town for at least another few days next week. During the weekend it is hoped that the members of the body will get some rest, and more importantly study up on the remaining legislation and be ready to complete our work. There are some appropriations that need to be completed and some other things that are a must do.

It goes without saying that everyone here wants to get this session concluded. Someone told that it felt a little like a trip to the dentist when the anesthetic is beginning to wear off. I don’t know about that but because the things we have been going through this last week are a bit normal in most respects.

And down on the farm, Bruce called me and told me that he could use my help for some things there. Be patient son, I’ll soon be on my way.

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

David Ripley: Idaho Takes a Side-Step on Protecting Babies, Moms

March 14th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The House State Affairs Committee on Monday (03.06.17) took the unprecedented step of approving a bill to repeal part of a law approved in 2015 regulating chemical abortions in Idaho.

HB250 was brought forward by Idaho Chooses Life as a tactical response to the disastrous lawsuit still pending before federal Judge Lynn Winmill. After telling the Legislature in 2015 that it did not perform telemed abortions – and had no intention of giving out RU-486 after a “doctor” talks with a woman over an internet connection – Planned Parenthood sued the state in December of 2015. It claimed a “constitutional crisis” and demanded that Winmill issue a temporary restraining order to protect their “constitutional right” to kill more babies with greater economic efficiency.

The Attorney General’s office decided not to fight Planned Parenthood. Instead, it signed an agreement in the spring of 2016 saying it would not enforce Idaho law against the abortion chain.

So, effectively, webcam abortions became legal in Idaho last year. Planned Parenthood has been using the dangerous procedure at its Twin Falls facility for almost a year now.

We protested the move, but were told that it was part of a “larger strategy” to ultimately win the lawsuit. The state needed more time to organize its defense. Not to worry.

Well, by last December, it became abundantly clear that there is plenty to be outraged about. The Attorney General’s office signed a document, largely prepared by Planned Parenthood, called a “Stipulation of Facts” in the lawsuit. It is a twenty page document outlining the evidence developed by the parties – and the basis for any ruling by Judge Winmill on whether Idaho’s ban on webcam abortions is constitutional.

Our attorneys reviewed the document, after it was signed and entered into the court record, and came to the painful conclusion that there was no way the state could win the lawsuit. There is not a single piece of evidence before the court defending the Legislature’s decision to outlaw webcam abortions.

The Attorney General’s office apparently ignored the committee records developed through lengthy hearings in the 2015 Session. None of the expert testimony we presented was used in federal court. None of the research papers and studies we presented to the Legislature were given to Judge Winmill.

In lobbying the 2015 bill, we showed the Legislature that webcam abortions are dangerous and a disservice to women and girls choosing to undergo a chemical abortion. Women using RU-486 have died as a result of hemorrhaging, or undetected ectopic pregnancies and infection.

But none of that information was presented to the federal district court.

So not only can the state now not win in Winmill’s court – there is no record by which an appeal could be successful.

Given this disgraceful state of the case, we are asking the Legislature to amend the law in order to moot the lawsuit. This reduces the amount of money that state will have to pay Planned Parenthood in attorneys’ fees. More importantly, it stops Winmill from issuing a final ruling declaring our law to be “unconstitutional”.

That means Planned Parenthood can’t take his ruling to attack pro-Life laws in other states. And it means that we will have an easier time coming back to the Legislature to get these protections restored. It also means that we have protected the rest of the chemical abortion regulations approved in 2015 from Judge Winmill’s lethal overreach.

Make no mistake: This turn of events is tragic. We spent some three years getting those protections into Idaho Code. A number of legislators did a lot of heavy lifting to restrict the use of RU-486 in the state. Much more importantly, the legalization of substandard medical care for women and girls undergoing chemical abortions is going to lead to higher abortion rates in Idaho and greater health problems for women.

But our only rational course at this point is to minimize the damage being wrecked by this lawsuit.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: Keeping the (Liberal) Faith

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Have you noticed the increasing public presence of liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

During the last presidential election, the Supreme Court Justice made numerous political statements, which raised eyebrows in some quarters. Since President Trump’s election, Ginsburg has become even more outspoken in her politics and public criticism of the president’s agenda.

This past week, she made a trip to George Washington University to encourage the liberal faithful. It seems the 83 year-old jurist has become more of a cheerleader for the Left than a Supreme Court Justice.

She made it clear that she has no intention of leaving the bench to make room for another Trump appointee.

Ginsburg also went out of her way to praise the liberal press, defending outlets like the New York Times as purveyors of truth.

And then she went into her admiration for the thousands of women who turned out in Washington to defend legalized abortion and protest the anticipated policies of a Trump Administration.

“I have never seen such a demonstration, both the numbers and rapport of the people in that crowd. There was no violence, it was orderly. So yes, we are not experiencing the best of times, but there is reason to hope that we will see a better day.”

It is unseemly for a sitting justice to publicly advocate for such a blatantly partisan agenda. There can be no serious debate that such political organizing confirms our worst fears of a badly compromised federal judiciary. So we can’t feign surprise that judges like Ginsburg are partisan hacks; but it is nevertheless sad that she is so brazen about leading the liberal social revolution. And even sadder that her behavior has largely gone without criticism.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | No Comments »

David Ripley: Norma McCorvey Goes to Her Reward

March 5th, 2017 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Pro-Life advocate Norma McCorvey passed away in Texas this past week, after spending almost two decades defending preborn children. She was 69.

McCorvey’s life is a prime example of God’s love and mercy. She was brought into a relationship with Christ after spending about half of her adulthood advocating for abortion rights. In fact, Norma is the woman around whom the Supreme Court concocted its infamous “Roe v. Wade” edict in 1973.

Norma revealed to the world in the 1980s that she was “Jane Roe” and that the factual basis for the lawsuit out of Texas was, in fact, not factual at all. Though she was still “pro-choice” at the time – Norma told the public that she lied about being raped, which was a key ingredient in a public relations campaign to seduce people into accepting the crime of abortion as the new normal in America.

McCorvey even went to work for Planned Parenthood for a time.

But in 1995, the Lord rescued her and she became a Christian.

By 1998, she was prepared to proclaim that she had become pro-Life:

“I am 100 percent pro-Life. I don’t believe in abortion even in an extreme situation. If the woman is impregnated by a rapist, it’s still a child. You’re not to act as your own God.”

We were honored to have Norma McCorvey as our guest speaker at the annual Christmas Dinner in December of 2010.

I don’t believe Norma ever underwent an abortion, but the horror of abortion largely defined her life. She became the poster child for abortion rights at just 22, and spent her remaining time here struggling with the moral and emotional consequences of being sucked up into that evil vortex. It was clear from our time together that she still carried wounds and many scars. There was a sadness about her, as well as a powerful strength.

It is good that she has now received her complete healing and is at peace with the Lord who always loved her.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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