TrishAndHalli.com

Where we bring you fresh opinions on Idaho government, observations on life in general, great recipes, and an opportunity to comment on them all!

RSS Feeds, Etc.

Get New Posts Via Email! Enter your e-mail address and hit the 'Subscribe' button. Your address will never be sold or spammed.

About

Profile TrishAndHalli.com
Where we bring you fresh opinions on Idaho government, great recipes, and an opportunity to comment on them!.

Archives

Categories

Pages

Blogroll

Conservative News

General Interest

Idaho Falls Links

Idaho Politics

Left-Leaning Idaho

Libertarian Links

Pro-life Organizations


Jerry Sproul, CPA
ThoughtfulConsideration.com

Please take a moment to visit our sponsors!

David Ripley: Insurance Reform Bill Becomes Law

April 2nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

An important health insurance bill passed the Legislature this session, but has received little attention from a distracted media.

Ever since Obama largely socialized the country’s health care system, various folks have been calling for increased competition as the solution to the mess he and Pelosi have created. Many Republicans have called for reforms to allow insurance carriers to sell policies across state lines. But like much of the conservative agenda – Congress has failed to act.

But Idaho has. Sen. Dan Foreman and Rep. Tom Loertscher got legislation passed this year which will make it possible for out-of-state companies to compete with Blue Cross in Idaho. (SB 1288). This is a market-based reform that could help lead to slower growth in premiums.

The long term impact will largely depend on who is elected governor this year, and who serves in the Department of Insurance next year. No doubt there will have to be an outreach effort to encourage companies to market their plans in Idaho and compete with the Blue Cross monopoly.

Evidence has surfaced that the insurance companies who survived thus far in the ObamaCare era are beginning to make serious profits, as are institutional health care providers. After all, the massive increase in government spending on health care has to be going to somewhere. And the 200% increase in private family premiums aren’t hurting the bottom line for Blue Cross and St. Luke’s either.

We heartily commend Loertscher and Foreman for their leadership in getting this bill passed. America has a long and successful experience with free market solutions to social problems: Competition has brought Americans a tremendous quality of life. It is obvious that that is the path out of this health care mess. But few of our politicians appear willing to bring that grand solution to the policy table.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

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.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

David Ripley: Governor Signs Reporting Bill into Law

March 23rd, 2018 by Halli

Governor Signs Reporting Bill Into Law

Posted: 22 Mar 2018 02:48 PM PDTahochooseslife.org“>Idaho Chooses Life

Governor Otter signed HB 638 into law today, creating the first comprehensive reporting system on abortion complications in Idaho history. We believe this is landmark legislation because, in coming years, we will be able to learn how abortion affects women and girls in both the short-term and long-term. For the first time we will not be dependent upon Planned Parenthood or the FDA to tell us what they want us to hear.

Every doctor, hospital, counselor in Idaho will now be required to file a report with the Department of Health & Welfare when they treat a woman or girl for a health problem associated with undergoing an abortion. That is going to be a tremendous help in setting health policy in the future, in battling Planned Parenthood in the courts – and in persuading women to reconsider a decision to submit to an abortion in the first place.

We know that Otter withstood an intense lobbying effort by numerous actors to veto the legislation.

It is our understanding that Lt. Governor Brad Little spoke with the Governor this morning, urging his support for the bill. A number of others supported our efforts with the Governor’s office – including Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Sen. Bob Nonini, Rep. Tom Loertscher and Sen. Tony Potts. And then there are all the fantastic pro-Life folks out there who took the time to call and ask for the Governor’s support of this critical legislation.

It takes a lot of folks to make a victory like this possible. And it takes the Lord’s kindness and blessing, without whom we could do nothing.

There are many reasons to be joyful in thanksgiving over this victory. But here is an important one: The Governor has completed his time in office with a perfect pro-Life record. He has finished the race and will leave behind him a tremendous pro-Life legacy. We predict his stellar pro-Life record will be his greatest, long-term contribution to the well-being of Idaho and its citizens. There is no doubt that Butch Otter has helped save lives that would otherwise have been wasted through abortion – and that number will continue to increase long after he leaves office.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the lead sponsors of this legislation as well: Rep. Greg Chaney and Sen. Fred Martin have poured their hearts into this fight. And a fight it has been. May the Lord bless these men for their kindness and courage in leading this battle.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

David Ripley: Governor Signs Reporting Bill into Law

March 22nd, 2018 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Governor Otter signed HB 638 into law today, creating the first comprehensive reporting system on abortion complications in Idaho history. We believe this is landmark legislation because, in coming years, we will be able to learn how abortion affects women and girls in both the short-term and long-term. For the first time we will not be dependent upon Planned Parenthood or the FDA to tell us what they want us to hear.

Every doctor, hospital, counselor in Idaho will now be required to file a report with the Department of Health & Welfare when they treat a woman or girl for a health problem associated with undergoing an abortion. That is going to be a tremendous help in setting health policy in the future, in battling Planned Parenthood in the courts – and in persuading women to reconsider a decision to submit to an abortion in the first place.

We know that Otter withstood an intense lobbying effort by numerous actors to veto the legislation.

It is our understanding that Lt. Governor Brad Little spoke with the Governor this morning, urging his support for the bill. A number of others supported our efforts with the Governor’s office – including Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Sen. Bob Nonini, Rep. Tom Loertscher and Sen. Tony Potts. And then there are all the fantastic pro-Life folks out there who took the time to call and ask for the Governor’s support of this critical legislation.

It takes a lot of folks to make a victory like this possible. And it takes the Lord’s kindness and blessing, without whom we could do nothing.

There are many reasons to be joyful in thanksgiving over this victory. But here is an important one: The Governor has completed his time in office with a perfect pro-Life record. He has finished the race and will leave behind him a tremendous pro-Life legacy. We predict his stellar pro-Life record will be his greatest, long-term contribution to the well-being of Idaho and its citizens. There is no doubt that Butch Otter has helped save lives that would otherwise have been wasted through abortion – and that number will continue to increase long after he leaves office.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the lead sponsors of this legislation as well: Rep. Greg Chaney and Sen. Fred Martin have poured their hearts into this fight. And a fight it has been. May the Lord bless these men for their kindness and courage in leading this battle.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

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.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, March 12

March 13th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

This week in my readings a couple of things caught my eye. John Deere puts out a monthly magazine called “The Furrow” and I suppose that they send it to every farmer in the America, or at least to the ones that do business with them. There are some very thoughtful articles and of course, a lot of John Deere ads. Near the end of every issue they have a page of “Fun & Philosophy”. One of those in the last issue was under the heading of Capsule Sermons: “The greatest challenge in life is to decide what is important and to disregard everything else.” That’s a pretty good description of what happens around here.

It was reported on Thursday that Governor Otter received notice from Washington D.C. Health and Human Services (HHS) that the Dual Waiver request we were debating here would not be considered for approval. The reasoning behind the letter was that the Affordable Care Act is still in force and that no innovative plans to cover the gap population would be approved. And after all of the debate in the legislature on this matter, it came to an abrupt halt. It must not have been important to them to see an effort to address this in an Idaho way, therefore it is to be disregarded by them.

Every day is an adventure in the State Affairs Committee. On back to back days we had the debate on chemical abortion reversal (Senate Bill 1243) followed by the hearing on castle doctrine/stand your ground/justifiable homicide (Senate Bill 1313). Those were two interesting days for the committee and both were sent to the full House for action. Most interesting on the first one was a young lady who told the committee about how and why she changed her mind and had brought her five-year-old son with her that was the result of her decision. Then Planned Parenthood and the ACLU lined up to say the protocol was not scientifically proven and would not work. Hmmm. As for S1313 most interesting there was that some testified in opposition saying it was way too strong and others testifying in opposition saying it was far too weak. If that sounds strange to you, it happens here all of the time. And we get to sort it all out.

Back to The Furrow, under what they call the ‘We Aim to Please’ column is this one: “If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” – William James (1842-1910) The good news from home is snow, especially in District 32. We have been worrying about that a lot these past weeks and sure enough our worry has not made a difference and didn’t change the amount of snow.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

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.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – Feb. 26

February 26th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

I received a text the other day from one of my sons reporting what he called the deep thoughts of Caleb Loertscher: “You know if you follow your blinker it tells you where to go.” That is sound advice from a seven-year old and should apply to the legislature.

There has been no end of comment this week about House Bill 536 other wise know as the trespass bill. During debate someone asked the question if the Attorney General had weighed in on the matter. It was pulled back and the AG says it is unconstitutional and now changes will be needed. The real problem is that we have three different types of trespass in law and this was an effort to bring them together. Changes are forthcoming.

Another hot item on the email stream has been House Bill 496 that is one to have the Governor appoint three directors, Corrections, Transportation, and Parks and Recreation. Those three directors are currently appointed by their respective boards and the thought of this bill is to have them appointed by the governor and serve at his pleasure. The email has been about jeopardizing Harriman State Park because of some stipulations of the gift from the Harriman family. The bill is now up for amendment to remove Parks and Recreation director from the bill. As a side note, years ago the transportation director was at the governor’s pleasure and was changed in an effort to remove highways from the political world. And corrections is a very professional assignment . Is it good to make this change? Maybe not. One thing is for sure, Harriman will be safe.

House Bill 591 is another property tax exemption bill concerning new business property of one billion dollars. The mechanics of the legislation are a bit complicated, but the idea is to provide help for new very large companies to get going in Idaho. The law was originally enacted to get a company called Areva to build nuclear related facilities near Idaho Falls. Only problem is that in about a dozen years they have not turned a shovel of dirt. I voted no on this one because my concern is that these types of exemptions tend to shift taxes to other properties including homes, farms and small business. Even the sponsor admitted after the vote that I might be right, and he committed to check it out.

One of my colleagues this week remarked that it felt like the end of the session today. It looks like the Senate will be passing the tax bill we sent them and that is the final piece of the puzzle to make the budget numbers work as we anticipate.

The annual Know Your Government conference put on by U of I and 4H was this week and each year they invite us to breakfast on the last day of their program. Again, this year our own Bear Lake delegation was the largest group at the conference. These young people have great plans for the future.

We have the plan in mind and now it is time to work the plan. I just hope we have the wisdom of my young grandson Caleb and follow our blinker.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – Feb. 16

February 20th, 2018 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

You can never accurately predict how long things are going to take in this place. What looks like a bill that is so harmless and straight forward, seems to take hours and somethings that are complicated in nature just breeze through.

At the end of the week we got all tangled up on the floor of the House about slow movers in the passing lane on the freeway. I am sure you have all been there, and have had the joy of following vehicles for miles on end that just don’t have the horsepower to complete passing. It’s not only annoying but in some cases causes safety problems. The bill seemed simple enough but took very long debate to get it passed. Will it help? I sure hope so.

As I have mentioned previously it is never dull in State Affairs. A large crowd had gathered to participate in the hearing of a bill that prohibits the application of foreign laws in Idaho. It was one of those times when emotions were running high on both sides of the issue. Those are the times when it is handy to have security around, and by the way their presence is enough to settle things down in most cases. It came out of the committee easily, after two hours of very impassioned testimony. Just for the record that was just one of the big deals we dealt with this week.

Medicaid is still on the front burner, with pros and cons in every direction imaginable. It seems like almost every legislator has a different set of concerns. At least now they are looking for answers. Those in high risk pools would be moved to Medicaid while those below 100% of poverty level would be made to qualify for subsidies on the state health exchange. About the only thing that is unclear is how all of this will reflect in the world of health insurance premiums. Does it seem that the topic of health insurance used to be easier than it is now? The bottom line is, and I think everyone around here knows, that people are currently being priced out of the market. And just saying no, does not solve the problem.

Budget setting has begun and that is the signal for getting our work completed. While there are many bills yet to consider, the budget always is center stage. Everything else is a series of fixing stuff. Another thing that we seem to work on a lot here is water. There are still problems with some of the agreements that have been made and fixes for those are in the works.

Looking forward to next week it looks like some long days are in order. That was probably a prediction and given the nature of most predictions don’t get your hopes up. And as for me I am ready for a couple of days at home. The truck is fixed, and I will shortly be on my way.

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights – Feb. 9

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.”

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to the full-feed RSS.

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

« Previous Entries

Copyright © 2oo6 by TrishAndHalli.com Powered by Wordpress          
Ported by ThemePorter - template by Design4 | Sponsored by Cheap Web Hosting