2016 Legislative Report–Week 3, Jan 22 to Jan 26

The legislature is moving on more bills as week three finishes.  Some of the bills considered this week include:

H 425 relating to Income Tax conformity

Idaho Income tax starts with the taxpayer entering the adjusted gross income from the Federal Tax Return.  Any item we want to adjust for Idaho taxpayers from the federal withholding and deductions or changes in federal law/policy over the past year must be made by the legislature at the beginning of each year.  One such item is the 179 small business deduction.  Without this legislation Idaho businesses would pay an estimated additional $17.9 million in 2016 and $28.7 million in 2017.  This bill does that for the 2015 tax year.  It is important we get this done early to allow Idahoans to file taxes as soon as possible.
H 425 passed the House on Friday, January 29, 2016 by a vote of 54-16.

H 417, a bill I sponsored, the Idaho Rural Partnership Reauthorization Act was introduced in the House Agriculture Committee.  This act provides continuation of the partnership between local, state, and federal entities to help improve the economic wellbeing of Idaho rural communities.
On January 28, 2016 I and three other legislators met the Attorney General Lawrence Wasden regarding Treasure Valley water issues.  The Treasure Valley water users are currently contesting the Idaho State Department of Water Resources decision to adjust how water is delivered in the Treasure Valley.  We have been in discussions for more than three years.  There are also cases working their way through the courts in an attempt to resolve the issues in dispute.