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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, 19 March

March 21st, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Theodore Roosevelt said “It is a capital error to fail to recognize the vital need of good laws. It is also a capital error to believe that good laws will accomplish anything unless the average man has the right stuff in him.” As we approach the end of this session of the legislature we are doing better at getting legislation on the Governor’s desk in a timelier manner and because of that we are discovering the stuff of which we are made.

It was a very busy week in the House with action on several major pieces of legislation that passed and sent on its way either to the Senate or to the Governor. The ability to stand your ground and protect yourself and your family and property is now in his office for his action. Two pro-life measures are also headed in the same direction and we should know in a few days what their fate will be as he considers them.

Another effort having to do with personal income taxes has passed the House that increases the child tax credit in an effort to help large families. Because of how the federal tax change affects these families it is necessary to increase the credit so their state taxes will not go up. It is a follow up to our previous tax cut legislation that is already law and is a compromise of sorts that has the support of the Senate and the Governor.

Corrections and Higher Ed budgets along with a few of the Health and Welfare budgets have now cleared the House. We still have the K-12 budgets ahead and it is noteworthy that we will be putting one hundred million new dollars in that budget to further implement our commitment to career ladders.

Governor Otter is still giving a big push to make changes to Medicaid for the gap population and the high-risk elderly. For the first time in memory he has been engaging several on a one to one basis to see if he can gather up the votes. In the meeting I had with him, we had a very frank conversation on a broad range of ideas about how to move ahead on this topic. Heath insurance premiums continue to increase so rapidly that those who do not qualify for the Health Exchange or Medicaid are the next folks that will be uninsured. Those premiums are getting so unaffordable they will soon not have the resources to pay the bill. I continue to believe that the counties should not be in the medical coverage business at all. Where this will end up at this point remains to be seen. Meanwhile I sponsored a Senate Bill in the House to allow health insurance to be purchased across state lines. I hope that it will help.

I think Teddy Roosevelt had it right as did the late Paul Harvey who said on several occasions that freedom without responsibility will not work. I hope we legislators have “the right stuff” in us.

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

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