Pocatello Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce Legislative Blog

Week 3 – January 31, 2019

For our week 3 meeting we had a great crowd of folks in attendance and 5 of our 6 legislators on the call.

Neither of our committees met but we did have some discussion on a few topics.  First the latest version of a Liquor bill was printed and is S 1040.  We discussed the impact it will have, and we expect to support it based on the changes that may be made. 

We did have a motion today to support the new school funding formula in its current form.  That motion was seconded and approved.  There is concern that formula may have further adjustments made that could affect our future support.

We had further discussion on items that the chamber may or may not take positions on.  One of the items has to do with discussions at the Legislature about making city council election Bi-Partisan and require district voting in cities over 50,000 people.  Our local cities are opposed to this legislation.  There was also discussion about a bill that would not allow cities to place restrictions on cell phone use.  Our local cities are also opposed to this legislation.

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 their updates.

On the call: 

Rep. Randy Armstrong, Rep. Elaine Smith, Rep, Chris Abernathy, Sen. Jim Guthrie & Se. Mark Nye.

Senator Jim Guthrie started with some discussion on Medicaid Expansion.  He also mentioned HB 1 on water that was written for the Magic Valley but may have unintended consequences for other parts of the state.  He also mentioned a push to allow the growing of Hemp as an ag product.  A few other items included some financial requirements for mines on cleanup, problems with surveyors on the trespass law, Food vendor licensing fees and discussion about non-profit hospitals no longer being tax exempt.

Senator Mark Nye discussed the Higher Ed Budget, more discussion on Medicaid expansion, the new Liquor License Bill, JFAC meeting with the Transportation Department, Issues with the Department of Welfare and child welfare and an item about cities ability to annex farm land.

Rep. Randy Armstrong gave an update on the State Affairs Committee, he also discussed Medicaid Expansion, concerns about property taxes and efforts to adjust the sales tax distribution formula.

Rep. Chris Abernathy mentioned the education committee and the new school funding formula.  He also mentioned H 40 on Professional Services Contracts.

Rep. Elaine Smith went last and discussed the Liquor License Bill, the Joint Oversight Legislative Committee and a Town Hall that Her, Chris and Mark would be doing on Saturday at Pocatello City Hall.

Update on Legislation:

H 20 which we supported has passed both the house and the Senate and is being sent to the Governor for his signature.  This bill was part of our 2019 Policy Summary which lists all of the agenda items for the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber Legislative Council.

Next week a number of us will be in Boise for Chamber Day at the Legislature and we look forward to dinner with our legislators on Monday and spending time with them on Tuesday.

It was then mentioned that next week we would meet on Thursday February 7th 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