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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – Feb. 2

February 12th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Acceleration as defined by mechanics is, “the time rate of change of velocity with respect to magnitude or direction; the derivative of velocity with respect to time.” This concept has applied to the legislature this week.

Committee work this week has accelerated and more and more time is being devoted there as legislation moves through the process. Two items of great interest around here have been the tax bill and dual waivers. The tax reduction bill moved through the House and now is on its way to the Senate. It was a long debate by the body abundant with procedural votes in an effort to either amend the bill or to divide it into several parts. The bottom line is the bill passed which will mean that income tax rates will go down, of course if it makes it to the governor’s desk. Good news for all taxpayers.

The Medicaid waivers came out of the Health and Welfare Committee and will be up for debate soon. It seems like a double edge sword to me in that on the one hand we could be accelerating the pace of increase in the cost of Medicaid to the State. On the other hand we would be able to provide coverage to those who fall in the so called “coverage gap.” There are mixed opinions on every side of this one. And I haven’t even mentioned how much this will cost.

Several groups were in town this week, Idaho Cattle Association, Nez Perce Tribe, Historical Society, Association of Realtors, Mining Association, Association of Counties, Developmental Disability Network, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe just to name a few. Meeting with our county officials from our district is always a priority and as always it was good to see them and hear what is happening at home. The Disability Networks presented information from their perspective on The Medicaid waivers and there are things in the waivers that might help these folks.

It was interesting to hear from the Coeur d’ Alene tribe and their efforts with a new medical center. They have developed a “one stop shop” for medical services in Benewah County that is impressive. I thought that part of their presentation was better than the mentalist (he called himself an experimenter whatever that is) they had for entertainment.

The Idaho Mining Association event was a chance for all of us to reflect on the contribution mining makes to the economy of the state. It is good to remember that there are only three things that create new wealth, mining, timber and agriculture. Knowing that we have all three in District 32 makes me grateful to live in this great part of Idaho.

On a personal note, I’ll have to put on my mechanics hat before I can get home this weekend. I have to replace the injector pump and as Linda would tell you, I am the original do-it-yourself guy. Dealing with diesel fuel and its pungent odor will be part of the privilege. It reminded me of the time in the distant past when I fueled a diesel car in England. The attendant at the station was taken by surprise that the car I had required diesel fuel. She commented (put on your best English accent), “It’s such filthy stuff you know, and such a nice car too.”

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

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