Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce Legislative Blog

Week 5 – February 14, 2019

We continue to have great participation from our committee on attendance and 5 of our 6 legislators on the call again this week.  We began with a review from our sub committees.

Our Health & Ed committee went first with an update from Blake Roemer the Committee chair. He talked about the School Funding formula and then asked Stephen Weeg to update us on Medicaid Expansion Stephen talked about S1100 but then mentioned that there are a number of other bills expected to come out and suggested that we should wait and see what else comes out before we take any positions.

Next our Tax and Commerce Committee Chair Arlen Wittrock updated the group on his committee meeting earlier in the week.  He brought up the First Time Home Buyers Savings account tax credit from the Governor and we had some group discussion amongst the group.  Then we moved and voted to support the Governors proposal.  We then discussed H88 a bill that moves the portion of ISP funding that comes from the gas tax and fees off of that source of revenue and onto the general fund.  It does this over a period of 5 years at which point those funds will fully move.  There was a motion to support this bill and it was approved.  Next, we talked about Idaho passing legislation to have the Idaho tax code conform with the new federal tax code on foreign income.  While the bill for this does not yet exist, we do support the state doing this.  Lastly the group had discussion about opposing two bills on city annexations, H128 & H130.  There was a motion to oppose that was approved.

We the had our Call with Legislators. 

On the call: 

Rep. Chris Abernathy, Rep. Randy Armstrong, Rep. Elaine Smith, Rep, Rep. Kevin Andrus and Sen. Jim Guthrie.  We also had a guest on the call who used to be on our Legislative Council.  The guest was Jeremy Field who is the U.S. SBA   

Rep. Chris Abernathy went first and updated us on the funding formula for schools and mentioned that they are waiting on some additional data.  He also mentioned an AG Hemp bill that is getting a lot of discussion.

Rep. Kevin Andrus mentioned that the redistricting bill HJR02 has been held.  He also mentioned that the Liquor License bill S1040 was held by the committee.

Rep. Randy Armstrong mentioned that Medicaid Expansion and the School Funding Formula as being the big issues this session.  He mentioned that there are hearings coming up on the Daylight Savings time issue H123.  The partisan election bill has dropped out of sight for now.  He also mentioned a bill that would limit election dates and close schools on those dates to add security.  Lastly, he mentioned a bill on how Rules are approved H100.      

Sen. Jim Guthrie mention that S1028 on PTSI and first responder workers comp had passed on the floor.  He told us that there is a group working on the school funding formula each morning to try and get it resolved.  He discussed S1029 the School Turnaround act is coming out.  He also mentioned a bill on health inspections that should be out soon.  He told us that he is a bit apprehensive about H88 and mention the surplus eliminator extension bill.  He also talked about SJR101 the Marcie‚Äôs Law bill that will be on the Senate Floor.  Lastly, he mentions S1068 on Pharmacy Benefit Managers and the Rule bill in the house H100.

Rep. Elaine Smith mentioned that H100 on Rules was on the 3rd reading calendar.  She mentioned that the Short Line Railroad bill had been held, the redistricting bill could come back and that the Hemp bill seems to be moving.

Update on Legislation:

H 20 which we supported has passed both the house and the Senate and has been signed into LAW by the Governor.  The bill moves $10 million from the Gail Life Sciences Building Project to the EAMES Complex for Career and Technical Education.  The Gail Life Sciences project is being reworked and will come up again in the future.  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 mentioned that next week we would meet on Thursday February 21st  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