Legislative Session 2014- Week 2

Greetings from Boise,


The second week of the Legislature is almost finished.  Our session has been very busy and legislators have had many events already.  I am wondering if some groups are thinking it might be a shorter session.  We shall see!


As your State Representative from Legislative District 29, I served on the Economic Revenue and Outlook Committee before the Legislature convened.  After the Governor’s State of the State address, this committee met and recommended to JFAC that the Governor’s revenue outlook projections were reasonable, despite the committee having had projected lower estimation on incoming revenues.


This year my committees are State Affairs; Business; Environment, Energy & Technology; and the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee.  All House and Senate Committees are presently reviewing Rules of various agencies.  Idaho is one of a few states that has this oversight of state agencies.  In State Affairs Committee a bill was printed this week stating if a person is elected and currently serving  in a city, county, district, or commission that has taxing or public spending authority, then that person cannot run for State Senator or State Representative.  This shall be a lively discussion when this bill comes back to the committee for discussion.


This week legislators from other Western states and Canadian Representatives came to our Capitol on behalf of the PNWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region) to meet with the Governor, Idaho legislators, and attend some committee meetings to give presentations..  I am the House Democrat Representative to PNWER meetings. This Council is comprised of legislators and businesses from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory, and Northwest Territories as members.  Issues discussed pertain to energy, agriculture, invasive species, cross border work, transportation, food security and safety, and cyber security.


Representative Carolyn Meline, Senator Roy Lacey, and I will be hosting a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  at Pocatello City Hall.  We will give updates about our committees and legislative bills.  Please come and give us your opinion on issues of concern to you.


Last week the Joint Change in Employee Compensation Committee met with the recommendation of 1% salary increase and a 1% onetime bonus funding for state employees in FY 2015.  This committee had not met for five years, so the hearing had many people testifying from across the state to update legislators on employee compensation.


There are various hearings scheduled where public input is desired.  To see when these hearings will occur or what the agendas of committees are, go to www.legislature.idaho.gov.   To contact a legislator there is a toll-free number which is 1-800-626-0471.  My e-mail address is esmith@house.idaho.gov or my office number is 208-332-1031.  If you are here at the Capitol, please stop and say hello.  My office is located in the garden level of the East Wing (EG07).  There have already been many individuals and groups visiting, such as Idaho Heritage Trust, Head Start, American Legion/Auxiliary, Idaho Central Credit Union and Cable One employees from Pocatello.


Thank you for the privilege of being your State Representative from District 29, which is the majority of the City of Pocatello.


Elaine Smith

State Representative