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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 5

March 6th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

You can learn a lot about people if you take a few moments to just listen – and sometimes that becomes very hard to do because time seems in such short supply. While listening to one of my colleagues the other day, he expressed how amazing it is that one day seems to blend into the next around here. That is a result in large part of so much coming from every direction.

The big news this week was that the Dual Waver bill (House Bill 464) was pulled from the floor calendar and returned to committee. There have been a few test votes on other Medicaid issues that gave the indication that there were not enough votes to pass it. The plan now is to try to find the magic bullet to get enough support to move it forward. Still in my mind the overriding problem is that we are still only looking at how to pay the bill rather than finding ways to reduce costs. And as with many things here there are one hundred and five different solutions. I have been told that if the legislature does not act this year the Governor may submit the waiver irrespective of what the legislature does or does not do.

Another bill that has had a bunch of attention this week is the continuing dialog over what is called the property/trespass bill. House Bill 658 is the new version and is thought to have solved the problems discovered in the previous effort. We will know soon how it works out.

HJR 8, otherwise known as Marsy’s law, was voted out of the State Affairs Committee on a nine to six vote on Wednesday. It is a constitutional amendment for victims’ rights. There has been a lot of discussion as well as email over the last few weeks mostly in favor of the legislation. It still has a mountain to climb in the House as it takes two thirds of the body to pass it and it must go on to the Senate for the same process. If it passes you will get a chance to vote on it this November. The same item came from the Senate to the House last year and it did not get out of committee. They have made a number of changes to remove the objections that were voiced last session.

We’ve had a little activity on the budget this week with a few of those bills coming for a vote in the House. The first have been some of the small ones with little if any increases over last year. There will be a lot more discussion over the bigger budgets next week.

And I haven’t even mentioned CBD oil, bond issues only once a year, gun bills, county commissioners elected from districts, legal notice publication, wolf control, water, Harriman State Park, or let’s see what were the other issues of the week? So maybe what my colleague said should be of no surprise. As one day blends into the next we hope to complete our work shortly.

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