Legislative Session 2014- Week 3

Legislative Week 3


Week 3 in the Legislature is ending.  Committees are now seeing RS’s, which a sponsor will bring to a print hearing and hopes that the committee will introduce it to print to become a bill.  This week in Business Committee we even voted on some bills, which were sent to the entire House for a vote.

Bannock legislators started our weekly Thursday morning Chamber conference call.   We are looking forward to seeing 27 Pocatello – Chubbuck Chamber representatives next week at the annual Chamber Alliance luncheon.  This week is Higher Education week in JFAC where the University and College Presidents did presentations to the joint budget setting committee.  Also, this week the ISU Alumni  annual legislative reception was held.

In the House Environment, Energy, & Technology Committee legislation was introduced to have the State of Idaho take over primacy for permitting under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).  Idaho is only one of four states that does not have primacy for the waste water permit  program.  There are about 1,000 permits in Idaho with about half held by municipalities.  The bill if passed would start a seven year process for the State of Idaho to take over the primacy.

On Wednesday there was a public hearing by the House and Senate Education Committees on Common Core standards.  The public submitted questions in advance of the hearing and these questions were then answered by a panel of 6 members.  There were 3 for and 3 against the Common Core standards.  It was a packed room in the Lincoln Auditorium.  Friday morning was another public hearing with the House and Senate Health & Welfare Committees on Medicaid redesign expansion.

If any of you want to follow what is happening hour to hour in the Capitol, I suggest you read Betsy Russell’s blog.  She is a reporter based in Boise for the Spokesman Review newspaper.  You can find her Eye on Boise at www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise.    Even legislators read her blog to stay informed due to several meetings held at the same time frame.

This week there was a big event in Boise to start the 125th year celebration of the University of Idaho.  However, eleven Eastern Idaho and Treasure Valley legislators went to dinner with President Vailas,  Dr. Tingey and Dr. Woodworth-Ney that evening to receive an update on ISU.

The Legislators Sportsmen Caucus held its first meeting this week.  There are around 50 of the 105 legislators who are members of this Caucus. We meet to hear about legislation that will be coming to Idaho on issues of interest to sportsmen.  When a legislator becomes involved in the Caucus, then he/she receives communication on what is happening in each state and at the national level on sportsmen issues.

The third legislative week brought citizens from our area who came to the Capitol representing ISU Pharmacy students, ISU administrators, CPAs, National Federation of the Blind, Idaho Community Action Network, Idaho Water Users Association, and I visited with some educators on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The Idaho State Pharmacy Association had health screenings and displays, so I finally received my annual flu shot.



Elaine Smith