We are still in recess from the legislative session, until April 6.
I read a recent opinion that the legislative process is lengthy. This can certainly be true. Many bills go through a lot of negotiation and that can be a good thing. However, we had an extraordinary legislative session last August. The Governor wanted immunity for his decisions regarding COVID. This immunity legislation was negotiated quite intensely before it was passed by the House and Senate. How long did this take? It took three days. It took a mere three days and then it was on the Governor’s desk for him to sign.
Many legislators do the Governor’s bidding and when they want to cater to him, bills are put on the fast track speed train. My observation is that when it comes to bills that benefit the well-being of Idahoans or the protection of Idahoan’s rights; these bills are put on the slow kiddy caboose at the carnival. You know I don’t play games or speak like the mainstream politician. I call it as I see it and I always will. I am not liked by most in established politics for that reason, but I do not care. I am here for you and your families, not them.
Many members of the House and Senate promised you last August and fall that it would be our priority to end the emergency order and seriously curb the Governor’s powers. That has NOT been the priority by the majority this legislative session. It has certainly been my priority. The Governor blatantly violated the Constitution and I felt quite lonely making that point during this legislative session. It doesn’t matter if I am reelected or if I attain higher office, as long as I stay true to you and my principles that you elected me for. I promised you that I would always follow my compass regarding the Constitution. This is my third legislative session and I will not alter that course. If it was really a priority to end the emergency order and curb the Governor’s power, we could have certainly gotten it done in a week, two weeks at the most.
Here are some bills that I have not yet mentioned:
Your Idaho House Republican Caucus passed a desperately needed tax cut plan on Wednesday. House Bill 332 is sponsored by Chairman of the Revenue & Taxation Committee Rep. Steven Harris and every member of House Republican Caucus Leadership. This legislation would provide nearly $400 million in tax relief for Idaho families by cutting income tax and providing a rebate for people who paid income tax last year. “Right now, this state has a surplus. This tax plan returns that surplus to its rightful owners, the taxpayers of Idaho,” said Chairman Harris. “It also changes tax policy for the future to make it more fair to individuals, small businesses, and families.” This 2021 tax relief bill cuts the rate for all income tax brackets and gives taxpayers money right now by providing a one-time sales tax/income tax rebate. This legislation is also now in the Senate for consideration.
Your Idaho Republican Caucus is limiting the reach of health ordinances and balancing government powers. Representative Brandon Mitchell’s House Bill 74 is now law, with the Governor signing it recently. The reach of city health ordinances will now be limited to city limits, as they should be.
Chairman of the House Transportation Committee Rep. Joe Palmer is working to provide better roads and bridges to the people of Idaho. House Bill 342, which the House of Representatives passed on Wednesday, is a comprehensive solution to address the needs of the state and local highway districts. It would ensure more funds go to critical transportation projects across Idaho, without raising your taxes. “Idaho’s population is exploding, but to maintain our high quality of life, we must manage our growth by providing for smart investments in our infrastructure, especially transportation,” said Chairman Palmer. “This legislation allows growth to help pay for itself by funding transportation needs, which are essential for the economic prosperity Idaho continues to enjoy.” The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.