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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, February 2

February 5th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This has been a week of transition in the House. For the most part committee work has dominated our time and now more items are moving to the full body for consideration. Committee work has also changed from mostly introducing legislation to the hearing process on bills. New items are still coming as well. Every day someone approaches me with a “brand new” idea for the greatest bill ever.

One of those new ideas (which by the way has been seen several times in the past) was to change the requirement for publication of legal notices in newspapers to online notices. Great idea, except that even in these times, not everyone has internet access. This idea will probably have a rough time around here and rightly so. When we deal with peoples’ lives and livelihoods, public notice needs to be available to all.

Another “great idea” brought forward was, that if a bond or levy election loses at the polls, a similar issue can’t come forward for twelve months. I am sure our schools will have much to say about that one. I have memories of how difficult it was to consolidate those elections to just four dates per year. I can see the e-mail stream pick up a lot on that issue.

Most things that are getting to the full House have been simple things but that is not going to last long. Some heavier things are on the way or will be soon. Science has been a big topic for the education committee. On the tax front, that committee has arrived at a tax bill that may get out of committee next week. Health and Welfare is moving forward with what they are calling the dual waiver proposal which is to authorize the department to apply for the waivers. If either of those waivers are unsuccessful with the feds, the other would not work.

State Affairs is getting an array of stuff from election changes to an article V call for a convention to propose amendments to the constitution. And don’t forget some changes in alcohol licenses. And Have I mentioned Marsy’s Law? There is a full court press on the committee for that one. We still have not seen the final draft on it but we will soon.

I get asked frequently, especially from new members, just how do you keep up? Believe me when you get a broad array of subjects to deal with, and huge numbers of e-mails, it does seem a bit daunting. My best advice is to do your homework and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Chances are you’ll get some help. After all, everyone around this place at least has an opinion.

We have gotten some lessons this week on procedure, which was welcome. You may ask, why are we so stuck on procedure? If we don’t do it right, and by the rules, whatever we do is not valid. We have even had some training for committee chairs and no matter how long we may have done this around this place there are things to learn.

Even though there has been a transition occurring, more is on the way. It will soon be more difficult to introduce something new and longer calendars will at least shift us to a higher gear. The train has left the station for sure and the next step will be home to live with what we have created.

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

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