Legislators pull tax bill, but continue attack on public schools

HB 199 has been pulled. That’s the tax bill that would have done away with the grocery tax credit, but not the grocery sales tax, while making small cuts in sales and income taxes. Taxes would be higher for many, while funds for needed improvements in government services would be gone. There’s every chance, of …

The “tax cut” that wasn’t 

If you’ve ever thought–or even hoped–that your Republican legislators care as much about education as the average voter, last week should be a wakeup call. In fact, if you care about schools, conservation, safe roads and bridges, faster service from the DMV, mental and physical health, crime fighting, or even overall fairness, the ‘tax cut’ …

COVID rules and medical marijuana engage legislature

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee of the Idaho legislature started cranking out bills this week. That means that legislators will now stop dreaming up crazy bills and settle down to getting things wrapped up.   I admit it didn’t work that way last year–nor the year before–but we can hope. JFAC has outlined the spending plan for …

Legislators want to ‘protect’ Idahoans

This week the Idaho legislature may have earned its keep. Twenty-three bills passed the House and seven, the Senate. Most were housekeeping bills that cleaned up out-of-date statutes like the 1941 law regulating the Idaho Tuberculosis Hospital which no longer exists.  Most passed unanimously or nearly so.  One bill, the appropriation for the Idaho State …

Legislators fight for more power 

Idaho legislative committees appear to be competing for a Worst of 2021 award honoring the biggest legislative power grab.   After the attorney general’s office, dozens of business leaders, and former Speakers of the House Bruce Newcomb and Mike Simpson spoke out against a resolution to end the pandemic emergency declaration, the Senate State Affairs Committee …