2016 Legislative Report–Week 4, , February 1 to February 5, 2016

H 380 was reported out of the Revenue and Taxation Committee and passed the House 53-16.    I voted for this bill in committee and on the floor.  If H 380 becomes law it will reduce certain income tax rates and increase certain grocery tax credits.

Even though this is not as comprehensive a tax cut bill as I would like, I supported H 380 because it does give some tax relief to 75% of Idaho taxpayers.  Over the past two years we have increased the Idaho State budget by over $300 Million; education spending has increased, Health and Welfare spending has increased, transportation spending has increased.  The only ones we have not considered have been the taxpayer.  This bill, as limited as it is, will reduce general fund revenues by an estimated $27.8 in fiscal year 2017 that begins July 1, 2016.

A School-based Medicaid funding proposed rule change was approved in the Senate and House Health and Welfare Committees by one vote.    I have been working on this issue for a number of years.  I will continue to work on addressing some of the important changes that need to be made in how this program is administered.

An ad hoc Legislative Bible study group has started again this year.  We are studying the Book of Daniel.  I am finding some very relevant principles applicable to our ongoing legislative activities.

H 417, reauthorization of the Idaho Rural Partnership, a bill I sponsored, was voted out of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee this week with a unanimous vote.  It will probably be on the floor next week.