Marc Gibbs

The Idaho State Historical Society brought several original documents from their collection that led to the ratification of the women’s suffrage amendment giving women the right to vote in 1920. Idaho was the 30th State to ratify the 19th amendment. Rep. Emma F. Drake M.D., from Twin Falls, sponsored a House Joint Resolution No. 1 on Feb. 18, 1920. Idaho had granted women the right to vote via an amendment to the state constitution in 1896. Today we have 25 women serving in the House of Representatives and nine women serving in the Senate. The women make up 1/3 of the State Legislature.

The House Education Committee voted to reject the State’s content standards for Science, Math and English. There has been testimony by educators saying that the standards are needed but the Committee chose not to follow the recommendation of the teachers and the State Board of Education by a vote of five ayes and 10 nays. If the Senate approves the standards, the rule would fail, and the old standards would remain in place. Both bodies have to reject the standards in order to kill the rule. The Senate has indicated they will take up their vote next week. Everyone is keeping an eye on this issue. I do believe we need some standards to measure student progress. Are these current standards the correct ones? I want our kids to be able to go to college or enter the work force prepared to compete with students from the other states.

There was a bill introduced on Wednesday by Rep. Monks that bill establishes a time line so that medical bills have to be submitted in a timely fashion. The bill is a result of billing cases in the Idaho Falls area where collection agencies have charged for their collection services, and the $400 or $500 medical bill have cost thousands of dollars by the time they made their way through the collection system. Melaleuca CEO, Frank Vander Sloot, has been pushing this legislation. I’m sure that most of us have had issues with medical billing. The problem can be with the postal service or dealing with insurance companies.

The daylight savings made its way to the third reading calendar and it sat there for three days, and then Thursday was pulled back to committee. I don’t know if there will be an attempt to run another bill this year. I could support leaving the clock year around on daylight savings time. That gives more people time in the summer for evening recreation. Those of us in agriculture work when the sun is up and don’t worry too much about what time the clock says it is.

Rep. Christensen has joined Sen. Harris and me in supporting HB 382, that will start the adjudication of the Bear River Basin. We had a hearing on the bill and sent it to the floor with a do pass recommendation. We certainly want to protect the water we have in our district and State from threats from others needing more water.

The Idaho Assn. of Counties was in town this week for their annual meeting. I had the opportunity to visit elected officials from all six counties in District 32. Their concern, without question, is what property tax legislation will look like this year. The short answer now is we don’t know. I will write more about tax plans as we sort the wheat from the chaff and legislation makes its way to the floor. Please fill free to contact me at mgibbs@house.idaho.gov or on my cell phone 208-547-7447

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