With the Idaho Legislative Session getting started our Legislative Council had their weekly meeting and their first call with Legislators.  As always, we heard from our Two sub-committee chairs to start the meeting. 

The Tax & Commerce committee did not have anything new to report so we went on to our next committee

The Health and Education Committee Chair Blake Roemer then brought up that his committee had met and discussed Medicaid Expansion in Idaho.  He brought forward the following motion to the committee

Motion to support voter approved Medicaid expansion to add the language “A straight forward and clean implementation of the will of the people to expand coverage with the lights possible touch of government.” This motion was approved by the Legislative Council.

Stephen Weeg then discussed Medicaid Expansion, and a possible work promotion instead of mandatory employment. 

We the had our Call with Legislators.  The motion that was made and supported by the council was read to Legislators and then we got there updates.

On the call: 

Rep. Randy Armstrong, Rep. Kevin Andrus, Sen. Jim Guthrie 

Randy – discussion on the implementation of Medicaid Expansion, he feels it will be implemented the way it is written. Talk of eliminating the CAT funds in the state to cover the cost, as well as defunding the crisis centers. Water bill HB1 the first bill to pass. Health and Welfare department rules discussion. 2% raise for government employees. New rules for public defenders are proposed  

Kevin – Vaccine for students is a booster from a shot received in middle school and they can opt out. CPA’s that are retired can now volunteer to do tax work for people. School Funding formula debates.  

Jim – Vaccine for students discussion, the argument is on the opt in and opt out. Medicaid Expansion discussion, should not remove the CAT fund. Not optimistic for a clean implementation of the expansion. Education funding formula update, budget discussion.  

Steven Weeg – update and discussion on work mandate and work promotion, update on our crisis center 

Randy – comment on what Steven said, only partial elimination of the CAT fund is being discussed.  

Update on Legislation:

Last week we supported the passage of H 20.  This bill passed the House on a 68-0-2 vote and is on the third reading calendar in the Senate.

This bill was part of our 2019 Policy Summary which lists all of the agenda items for the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber Legislative Council

It was then mention that next week we would meet on Thursday the 31st at 7:00 am at the Clarion Inn and that we would have another call with Legislators to discuss issues.

Matthew J. Hunter
President & CEO
Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber