|Roy Lacey||Office Address|
|District 29||State Capitol|
|Committees:||P.O. Box 83720|
|Finance||Boise, Idaho 83720-0081|
|Health & Welfare||(208) 332-1406|
Work in the Capitol keeps chugging along with everyone sitting on pins and needles waiting for the important legislation to come forward. Meantime we must consider so many pieces of legislation that sometimes seem trivial but they are important to some. Still waiting for transportation funding proposals, Healthy Idaho (new name for Medicaid Redesign) and for the education bill that will impact the teachers. I sincerely hope that we get some movement or we will either be here into April or maybe just go home accomplishing very little, which would be a shame.
The stopgap infusion of money to the schools broadband to prevent a complete blackout of the internet has passed and is signed into law. There are a few hiccups but overall the monies will be distributed as fairly as possible to the school districts. Not all of the costs being incurred by the school districts may be covered but the purpose is to make them as whole as possible. The main thing is to keep this service so our students won’t be overly affected by a bad decision made by the State administration. We just learned today that possibly there may have been a double payment because of some prepayment of services which the contract did not allow. More confusion and bad policies. However, in a report this morning we learned the Superintendent of Education is attempting to make districts whole for the instructional portion. This department has really stepped up to fix a mess that was not their making.
The daylight savings time legislation is causing a buzz from all sides. It will be interesting to see where it goes in the House as that is where the legislation started. So far I have had about a 50/50 split on pro and con on this subject. The Representative that is sponsoring this legislation is from the Boise area where it is daylight very late into the evening given the proximity to the time zone line. I do love the long evenings.
The Farm Bureau Eminent Domain bill came up again this year. This is the fourth year in a row that this legislation has been pushed. It is unfortunate that it passed the Senate this year and the only conclusion can be is that if you bring a subject up enough it might someday be successful. I feel badly because this is a special interest bill, not one that is supported on the local levels. Our city, county and our constituents have indicated that this measure should be left as a local decision and the State should not be determining the purpose of eminent domain. It is interesting that you can still use eminent domain for mine tailings, sewer plants and many other very distasteful uses.
A tanning bed restriction bill is currently in the House. I saw a newspaper headline saying “GOP Tanning…”. This subject has been in the mix for 4 or 5 years as a non-partisan piece of legislation with very little success. I am pleased that it is moving forward.
Another subject that has been hanging for several years is the use of medical marijuana. It appears that maybe (possibly) there is adequate support to allow use of the oil extracted from marijuana to be allowed to help stop or slow down epilepsy conditions that some of our citizens are experiencing.
A move is underfoot by the Republicans to set a new presidential primary election. The date would be moved into early March so “Idaho would be more significant in selecting the President”, and this move would only cost the taxpayers a measly $2 million. I will say that the Republicans know how to spend our money on elections as the closed primary is also very expensive. What has happened to the meaning of the word “conservative”? Or, who are the spenders in the State?
There is a constitutional carry piece of legislation on the House side and those supporting the bill are being accused of harassment as the Representative’s homes are being called and their families are being bothered with regards to this bill. This is not right and the mood is quickly turning away from the support of this legislation. Families should not be subject to abuse due to the actions of legislators.
The budget setting has begun and my days start with 7AM meetings and end late as we struggle to work all the budgets in a shortened time period. The state has about 125 budgets for different agencies and each one requires time and effort if a fair distribution of money is to occur. The main budget this year is the K-12 as so much money is being added, unfortunately some are trying to tie strings to the money by legislation. We are doing our best to preserve money for operational funds but that figure seems to be shrinking daily.
We were presented with an exciting new concept this week --- an Idaho Diaper Bank. This would operate very similar to a food bank but would be providing diapers for those who could not afford them. This is private and non-profit with no State Funds being requested. Great concept and I plan to become involved.
Another week gone and I do appreciate the trust you have given me in representing you. Please keep me apprised of your wishes and I will do my best for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.