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Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 26

March 28th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This was to be our last week, but as it is said from time to time, “..the best laid plans of mice and men.” It was not due to a lack of planning by any means that we will need to return next week. We have been making a concerted effort this year to finish by this Friday, but it was not to be.

All legislation passed by the legislature is now on the desk of the Governor, including some of the largest budgets of the session. Education, Health and Welfare and Corrections are the three that top the list of General Fund expenditures, and Transportation comes right behind from dedicated sources. Before your eyes glaze over, even more interesting is that one morning this week about five billion dollars of appropriations from all sources of revenue were passed in the House in about forty five minutes with virtually no debate.

There are some noteworthy things to report for the session. We lowered all income tax brackets by almost one half of one percent. The child tax credit was increased to make sure there is not a tax increase placed on large families. Four years ago we committed to a career ladder program for teachers. For the fourth year in a row we have exceeded one hundred million new dollars for K-12 education.

Two pro-life measures were passed and have now been signed by Governor Otter.

The NRA-supported “stand your ground/castle doctrine” bill has become law, albeit without the governor’s signature. His comment was that it was too strong. Last but by no means least is a bill that I was involved with, that will make it possible to purchase health insurance across state lines, in hopes of reducing health insurance premiums. This one was signed by the governor. This is the only legislation passed this year making an effort to get these costs down. I hope it helps.

This is what I call my thousand mile weekend, having attended three Lincoln Day events in our district. On the return from Preston there was a least a foot of water over the road in one place. Traveling down from Fish Creek Pass toward Soda Springs it was quite a site to see how many fields there are under water. Having driven through a couple of those deluges over the weekend it should have not been a surprise to see the flooding, just unusual.

I saw a half dozen cowboys in Montpelier Saturday morning and asked how the calving was going. One of them commented that they only have about 175 to go, and in my world that is a pretty good sized “only.” I asked if they were enjoying the mud as much as we are. “We’ll be glad to deliver some if you would like, no matter how far it is,” was the reply. I think we will pass on that offer.

A lot of roads in our area have washed out and county road crews are getting a real work-out. And as far as my own private access goes, we got our share of road destruction. There has to be some dry ground under there somewhere.

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

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