Friday, April 26, 2013

Concerned Citizens Meeting

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The Bannock County Democrats will be hosting a Concerned Citizens meeting to discuss plans for bringing greater experience and leadership to Pocatello city government.

The public meeting will be held at Idaho State University's Pond Student Union's Canoe Room on April 27th, at 10am.

We look forward to meeting and talking with Pocatello residents.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April 2013 Central Committee Meeting

democrat-signOn Tuesday, April 30th, the Bannock County Democrats will be holding their scheduled monthly meeting of the Bannock County Democrats' Central Committee, beginning at 7:00 PM and ending shortly after 8:00 PM. Precinct Captains are reminded to attend, and all county Democrats are invited to attend and participate. Last month's meeting minutes can be found here. The treasurer's report can be found here.

This event will be held at our headquarters, which are located at 355 Yellowstone Ave., across the street from Mama Inez restaurant. Entrances are at the front and back of the building, with parking in back.

Attend Central Committee to get updated with what is happening with the party and our plans for the future. We look forward to seeing you there! For more information about this event, please contact our organization via email at chairman@bannockdemocrats.org, find us on Facebook or call us at (208) 234-8908.

April 2013 Legislative Forum

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District No. 29 Legislators Elaine Smith, Roy Lacey, and Carolyn Meline in conjunction with the Bannock County Democrats will be hosting a Legislative Forum to give Bannock County residents an update on what happened in this year's Idaho Legislature session.

The public meeting will be held at Pocatello City Hall, located at 911 N. 7th Ave. on April 20th, at 10am.

They will discuss the 2013 Legislative Session and answer questions from the public. They look forward to meeting and talking with Bannock County residents.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

City Council Meeting

discriminationA reminder: Thursday, April 18th the Pocatello City Council will meet to again take up the Non-Discrimination Ordinance and, hopefully, vote on its passage. There was a tremendous crowd of supporters for the ordinance and a large group of people speaking on its behalf and why it is necessary in order to help Pocatello's LGBT citizens fight against discrimination in housing and the workplace. We strongly encourage you to attend the next meeting, beginning at 6:00 PM this Thursday, April 18th at Pocatello City Hall, 911 N. 7th Ave.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 10 at the Legislature

elainesmithAfter seven hours of debate House Bill 248 passed from the House of Representatives on a vote of 41-29. Only one Democrat debated, so essentially it was Republican vs. Republican debating. The 13 Democrats made the difference on the passage of this bill for a State Health Insurance Exchange. Speaker Bedke did a good job with his fairness for both sides. Thank you for all on both sides who sent me your opinion.

In Revenue and Taxation Committee on Friday, March 15, House Bill 286 was passed to receive tax credits up to ten million for scholarships to private schools. This bill has come up in previous years and failed. The Idaho School Administrators and School Boards opposed this bill. I understand there will be a new personal property tax bill introduced next week, but it won’t be until Tuesday or Wednesday because this committee is not meeting Monday. I encourage you to investigate any new bills on personal property tax elimination and send your comments first to members of that committee, then to the rest of the House members. I am hoping a compromise will happen to hold harmless local government and school districts, while helping small business with personal property tax elimination.

The Comprehensive State Water Plan, House Bill 38, is on the third reading so should be heard sometime this coming week. This plan was adopted by the Idaho Water Resources Board in November of 2012, which Roger Chase serves as Chairman. There was a last minute effort by some legislators in House Resources & Conservation Committee to change this water plan, but it failed.

There are several education bills, many which are parts of Proposition 1, which are being debated in the Legislature. Senate Bill 1089 passed the House this week by a vote of 54-15-1 which repeals early retirement incentives for teachers. A couple of retired educators, who are now legislators, did explain that it varied from $4 to 11 million in program savings each year. The bill now goes to the Governor.

Recently I contacted the Speaker of the House and the House Majority Leader to call their attention to Senate bill 1100 Health Care Ministries. There was an Idaho Supreme Court ruling at the end of February which declares health care ministries are not insurance entities. It will be interesting to see if we will still hear this bill because it is law now.

H88—Known as the HOME Act, the bill passed the House on Monday with a vote of 62-7-1. This bill provides a tax credit to new businesses or businesses that have expanded for new employees, including veterans.

So far this session, I have voted yes on 4 gun bills and 1 knife bill, but I could not vote for House Bill 219 because it pitted U.S. Marshalls against local law enforcement. Before I debated and voted on the bill I did receive an Attorney General’s opinion and talked with the Bannock County Sheriff.

Thank you to all who have contacted me urging me to vote no on Senate Bill 1117 on the overweight/oversize big trucks. This week the House Transportation Committee had a marathon meeting on this bill, but they have not voted yet on the issue.

Also, thanks to all who have contacted me about House Concurrent Resolutions 21 and 22 about your opinion on transfer of federal lands to Idaho to manage. This could impact up to 33 million acres in Idaho. Currently the goal of the House and Senate leadership is to end the Legislative Session on March 29th. We shall see if we make that date.

Please continue to contact me on issues of concern to you. The way to contact me is by e-mail at esmith@house.idaho.gov, toll free number is 1-800-626-0471, my office number is 208-332-1031 or my home number is 237-1462. Live streaming of meetings on the internet can be found at www.idahoptv.org/insession and current legislative information is located at www.legislature.idaho.gov. Thank you for the privilege of serving as your District 29 State Representative.

Written by Representative Elaine Smith.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 2013 Political Soup

davidmattsonPocatello — On Wednesday, April 10th, the Bannock County Democrats will be holding a Political Soup luncheon. We'll be serving up some yummy soup and bread between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

This event will be held at our headquarters, located at 355 Yellowstone Ave., across the street from Mama Inez restaurant.

Our speaker will be new School District No. 25 member David Mattson. Mattson is a retired small business owner who has a college degree in sociology, is father-in-law of Gino Mariani, volunteers time as a (Court-appointed Special Advocate) CASA advocate. Mattson says he believe he has a lot to learn about the school board but the first thing he want people to know is that he willing to speak with and listen to others and do his best to answer their questions.

Political Soup is a great way to stay in touch with fellow Democrats in our area, as well as to pass around ideas and suggestions. Entrances are at the front and back of the building, with parking in back (please do not take parking spaces belonging to businesses along adjacent buildings). We look forward to seeing you there! For more information about this event, please contact our organization at chairman@bannockdemocrats.org or call (208) 234-8908.