CANYON COUNTY DEMS
1st Tuesday Monthly Business Meeting – Next meeting is at 7pm on Tues March 23
HB 199 is a tax increase for most of us
NOTE: HB 199 was pulled back this week, but a similar bill is very likely.
27th Annual Frank & Bethine Church Gala
The Gala is a time of inspiration and team building for Idaho Democrats. This year’s speakers include U.S. Representative Jason Crow (CO), Washington Lt. Gov. Denny Heck, Arizona Sec. of State Katie Hobbs, and Boise Mayor Lauren McLean. The online event will start at 6 p.m. and last about three hours. Plus a rousing performance by Doug Martschi of the rock band Built to Spill. The Remo software allows one to move around, visit people at other tables, and view the silent auction items. Tickets range from $40/$75 for a single viewer/couple to $200/$375 for the full works including the VIP receptions. Check here for more information and registration.
Idaho Democrats – Executive Director job search – Description & Application
Current bills to watch
*To require all restrictions that are part of a declaration of emergency to end after 60 days unless renewed by the legislature; to allow the legislature to rescind all executive orders and emergency restrictions if both houses disapprove. HB135 (replacing HB 98) has passed the House, 49-20-1. SB 1054 is still in committee. SB1135 that would limit the Goverrnor’s power to set aside any state law during an emergency is still in committee (HB 16 , SB1003, and SCR 101 appear to have been replaced.)
To require approval by 2/3rds of both houses of the legislature to rename, rededicate, or relocate any item on state property named for an historical person or event. HB 90 has replaced HB65 and has been approved by the House, 51-19.
*To prevent a taxing body from revealing whether or how much a new levy will affect the current tax rate. HB66 passed the House 46-24. The Senate is considering amendments.
*To make trustees primarily responsible for deciding epidemic procedures for K-12 schools and community colleges. LAW HB67 passed the House 65-5 and the Senate 31-3-1; HB 68 passed the House 59-11 and the Senate 27-7-1.
To allow state agencies to hire their own lawyers at costs 3 to 8 times as much as taxpayers would pay through the Attorney General’s office. HB101 passed the House 54-15-1.
To eliminate the August election date for school levies and bonds. HB106 passed the House 45-24-1.
To allow the sale and use of medical marijuana. HB 108 is in Health and Welfare Committee.
To provide that teachers and staff with advanced conceal carry permits may bring guns on school property. HB122 is in the State Affairs Committee. SB1135 is similar.
*To allow school boards to set teacher compensation without negotating with teachers. HB174 is scheduled for a vote by the full House.
*To require school districts to provide in-person education even during emergencies in cases where “safety requirements can be developed.” HB 175 passed the House 55-14-1.
*To appropriate $175 million of COVID relief funds to rent and utility assistance. LAW HB176 passed the House 59-8-3 and the Senate 34-0-1.
To eliminate the $100 per person grocery tax credit and to lower the sales tax 0.007 % and income tax up to 0.4%. HB199 has been pulled back. Look for a similar bill later.
To pay parents up to 90% of the state’s subsidy to public schools for the educational expenses of students not enrolled in a public school. This bill is ready for a vote by the full House. Note: Although most regard HB215 as paying private schools, the bill doesn’t seem to require that a student be enrolled in any school.
*To fund Medicaid Expansion for another year. Thirty-one Republicans remain opposed to Medicaid Expansion. HB216 passed the House 37-31-2 with half of Canyon County’s representatives voting against it. It passed the Senate 24-5-1. House members voting nay included : *Adams (D13), Andrus, Armstrong, Barbieri, *Boyle (D9), Christensen, *Crane (D13), DeMordaunt, Dixon, Ehardt, Ferch, Gestrin, Giddings, Hanks, Harris, Kingsley, Mendive, Monks, Moon, Moyle, Nate, *Nichols(Brooks) (D11), Okuniewicz, Palmer, Scott, Shepherd, *Skaug (D12), von Ehlinger, Weber, Wisniewski, Young. * indicates Canyon County.
*To allow school districts and charter schools to issue local teaching certificates to any person with a bachelor’s degree and no criminal record or contagious ailment. HB221 passed the House 54-13-3.
To make it a felony to carry ballots to the Elections Office for non-relatives and to allow a person to carry only six ballots at a time for relatives. HB223 passed the House 56-12-2.
*To accept a $6 million government grant for early childhood education. HB 226 failed by a vote of 34-36. Those who voted ‘nay’ include Adams, Andrus, Armstrong, Barbieri, Boyle, Christensen, Crane, DeMordaunt, Dixon, Ehardt, Ferch, Gestrin, Giddings, Hanks, Harris, Holtzclaw, Kingsley, Marshall, McCrostie, Mendive, Mitchell, Monks, Moon, Moyle, Nate, Nichols, Okuniewicz, Palmer, Scott, Shepherd, Skaug, Vander Woude, von Ehlinger, Weber, Wisniewski, Young. (McCrostie changed his vote to nay so he could ask for a revote.)
To require school districts not providing full-time in-person instruction for their students to pay expenses for parents who go elsewhere to get their children such training. HB247 was introduced Feb. 25. It is Supt. Ybarra’s response to complaints during the coronavirus.
*To require parents to send the school permission any time sexual topics other than the mechanics of reproduction are to be discussed. SB 249 has passed the House 56-12.
To require a state-issued drivers’ license or photo ID in order to vote. Student IDs will no longer be accepted. HB 255 was introduced Feb. 26.
*To fund the Attorney General’s office. HB 271 failed 29-40-1.
To end the current restriction limiting gatherings to 50 persons. HCR 5 has passed the House, 55-15.
*To amend the Idaho Constitution so that legislative leaders must convene a special session within 15 days after receiving a written request from 60% of the members of each house. HJR 1 passed the House 51-18 and is slated for a Senate vote. The Senate passed a similar bil, SJR 102, by 24-11.
To limit budget growth of local taxing units. SB1021 is still in the Local Government and Taxation Committee.
To add $4 million to the legislature’s Legal Defense Fund. SB1022 has passed the Senate; third reading in the House has been postponed several times.
*To reimburse persons who were wrongfully imprisoned. LAW. S1027 passed the Senate and the House with unanimous votes.
To authorize a Work Readiness Diploma for those who have completed technical programs. SB1039 passed the Senate 32-0-3 and is slated for a House vote. It has been amended.
To fund dual-credit courses for students in private schools. SB1045 passed the Senate 28-6.
To allow an alternate curriculum within a public school if parents of 24 students request it. S1046a is scheduled for a vote.
To require county approval of health districts orders within 7 days and every 30 days thereafter. SB1060 passed the Senate 32-1-2.
To ‘provide’ for a four-week summer session prior to kindergarten for students not yet ready. No funding is provided. SB1075 passed the Senate 32-1-2.
*To fund the Catlastrophic Health Fund for the remainder of this fiscal year. SB 1081 passed the Senate 30-4-1. It failed 33-35-2 in the House.
*To raise the legal age for possession of tobacco or electronic smoking devices to 21. SB 1087 passed the Senatae 25-10-0.
*To require that rental fees be included in the lease agreement or other documents. SB 1088 passed the Senate 26-8-1.
*To set penalties for rape of juveniles and to remove the exemption for husbands. SB 1089 passed the Senate 34-0-1. Sponsors include Democrats Melissa Wintrow and Colin Nash and Republican Linda Hartgen.
To limit the amount of property tax that local government entities may assess. SB1108a is slated for a Senate vote.
To create the Idaho Promise mentor program to help students achieve training goals after graduation. Proposed by Grant Burgoyne and Janie Ward-Engelking. SB1109 failed the Senate with a 17-17-1 vote and a nay vote from the Lt. Gov.
*To require petitions to place an initiative on the ballot to include signatures from 6% of the voters in all 35 legislative districts. SB1110 passed the Senate 26-9-0.
To allow a special session of the legislature for a specified purpose when requested by 60% of the members of each house. SB1112a has passed the committee and is slated for a Senate vote.
*To make a driving authorization card available to non-citizen who’ve been trained and tested. SB1132 died in committee.
To allow government agencies to provide broadband services within their boundaries. SB1149 was introduced Feb. 26.
*To require that initiative signatures be signed in the state of Idaho so signatures of out-of-state military personnel and students will not be counted. SB 1150 passed the Senate 28-6-1.
To end the Governor’s public health order which, among other things, limits the size of gatherings and mandates masks at assisted living facilities. SCR 103 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee. HCR2 to lift restrictions on meetings of over 10 has passed the House, 55-15.
To insert Idaho’s current drug laws into the Idaho Constitution so they can’t be changed by initiative. A Constitutional amendment requires support by a 2/3 majority in both houses and a simple majority of voters. SJR 101 passed the Senate, 24-11.
*To allow the legislature to call itself into session. SJR 102 passed the Senate 24-11. A similar resolution, HJR 1 has passed the House.
To impeach Governor Little. House State Affairs Chair Ron Crane blocked printing.
Other bills introduced by Democrats
To prohibit the legislature from amending requirements for initiatives without voter approval. A Constitutional amendment requires support by a 2/3 majority in both houses and a simple majority of voters. Proposed by Colin Nash. HJR2 is in the Ways and Means Committee.
To ban mental health professionals from using of ‘conversion therapy’ to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of any teen . Proposed by John McCrostie. HB52 is now in the Ways and Means Committee.
To increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by July 1, 2023. Proposed by Grant Burgoyne. SB1028 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
To add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Proposed by Melissa Wintrow and 11 co-signers. SB1030 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
To provide for student loan forgiveness for rural teachers. SB1117 failed in the Senate Education committee. This was a Democratic bill sponsored by Janie Ward-Engelking and Sally Toone.
The state has a budget surplus of $580 million and the tax relief fund is up to $136 million (money from internet sales taxes). There is also Federal money from a pandemic relief bill passed in December and anticipated money from one before Congress now.
We’re still hoping for actions:
- To lower taxes–removing the sales tax on food, restructuring property taxes, and/or lowering income taxes.
- For one-time projects–repairing bridges and roads.
- For education–watch the efforts from the IEA and Reclaim Idaho
1st Tuesday Monthly Social Meeting – Next meeting is at 7pm on Tues March 2
3rd Tuesday Monthly Exec Comm Meeting – Next meeting is at 7pm on Tues March 16
4th Tuesday Monthly Business Meetings – Next meeting is at 7pm on Tues March 23
All meetings at Zoom address below unless otherwise announced
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The blogs posted here are those of Idaho Democrats, but not necessarily those of all Idaho Democrats. We offer them here for discussion.
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Paid for by Canyon County Democrats, Joanna Tucker, Treasurer