2015 Summary Legislative Report
Citizens of District 21,
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent District 21 in the Idaho Legislature. I appreciate all who have contacted me regarding issues of concern. Please continue to do so here.
I would like to review some of the issues considered during the 2015 regular and special legislative sessions. You may also review the text of any bills mentioned and all issues considered by the legislature this year by going to www.legislature.idaho. gov, then click on Bill Center on the home page or go to http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2015/key_actions.pdf for a review of the key actions of the session. Also, a General Fund agency spending comparison can be found here on my website or at www.legislature.idaho.gov.
Idaho is one of 17 states where the legislature can reject pending rules from Idaho State agencies preventing the rules from going into effect. Therefore, each legislative session begins with this rules review. This year eleven of the 165 pending rules were rejected either entirely or in part from agencies such as the Tax Commission and the State Department of Agriculture.
Is always one of the top legislative priorities. The 2016 General Fund appropriation for K-12 is $1.81 B, an increase of 7.4% over last fiscal year (see S-1183 to S1189 for details). It is the largest increase in a number of years. Also, H 296 establishes a career ladder for teachers that when fully implemented provides for substantial salary adjustments over the next 5 years.
Revenue projections for fiscal year 2016 (that begins on July 1, 2015) indicates a 5.5% growth economic growth for the fifth year. Legislative appropriations were based on these budget projections while staying within the Idaho Constitutional requirement for a balanced budget. Public schools received a 7.4% funding increase, colleges and universities received a 3% increase, professional technical education received a 5.9% increase and Medicaid was increased by 3.5%.
Additional bills from the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Interim Committee were passed. Reclassification from misdemeanors to infraction: HB 102 reclassifies juvenile curfew violations, HB 104 debris on highway offenses, HB 159 tobacco-related offenses, H 195 rework violations. Repealed obsolete laws: HB 139 relating to fighting duels out of state.
H 112 Requires political committees to report like political candidates. S 1066 Authorized a presidential primary on the second Tuesday in March but does not change the May primary date for other candidates. S 1072aa Requires sunshine reports from school board candidates.
H 189 Enables healthcare professionals to provide services to remote patients. S 1062aa,aa Enables patients to enter into direct primary care agreements. S 1144 Provides funding for the creation of four community-based mental health and substance abuse recovery centers.
H 50, H 124 addressed Idaho oil and gas industry issues.
HCR 23 Authorizes a study of state’s purchasing laws.
H 75 Exempts eyeglasses, eyeglass component parts and contact lenses from sales tax. H 76 Emergency school levy taxes to schools not urban renewal agency. H 312aaS,aaS Provides increased local and state-wide transportation funding by increasing the per gallon gas tax by $0.07 (from $0.25 to $0.32) and increasing registration fees by $21 for personal vehicles, $25 for commercial vehicles, $10 for Motorcycles, $140 for Electric vehicles, and $75 for Hybrid vehicles. It also provides transportation funding from “surplus” money at the end of the next two fiscal years.
Again, the text of any bill and legislative Session Summary of the 2015 and previous sessions at www.legislature.idaho. gov. With your help I will continue in the pursuit of my challenge from President Ronald Reagan “to make a difference in the lives of my fellow citizens.” May God continue to bless Idaho.
Child Support and the Special Legislative Session
by Representative Thomas Dayley, District 21, June, 2015
The child support issue, SB 1067, HB 1, is now settled in law. Even though I believe there were errors in timing, process and judgment, in the end the essential child support program is still available to Idahoans!
First, it is clear that all members of the legislature agreed regarding the importance of ensuring timely and full collection of child support payments for the children of Idaho.
Second, I believe in order to confidently make good public policy, questions must be asked, timely answers received, sufficient data reviewed. The process should be the same whether with a 32 page bill as was SB 1067 or with a 2000+ page bill as was the Affordable Care Act. The proof is always in the details!
Third, I believe it is inappropriate to impugn personal integrity simply because of disagreement. In fact, I have heard it said that if two or more people readily agree upon a point of discussion, someone isn’t being honest.
Having said all that, it would be instructive to review some of the facts regarding this issue.
January 2015, legislative leadership emphasized a March 27 adjourn goal but not child support legislation. SB 1067, the child support bill, was introduced in the Senate February 12 but was reported to the House Judiciary Rules and Administration Committee (HJRAC) some 37 days later on March 23. This left limited time for questions, answers, and information gathering. Ultimately the HJRAC did not feel comfortable approving SB 1067 as written. And the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) stated the bill must pass “verbatim” without amendments. An acceptable amendment process became clear only after legislative adjournment and at that time HJRAC began the dif cult task of drafting acceptable amendments.
Starting on March 23, questions were raised by HJRAC members regarding SB 1067. Legitimate questions about federal mandates, information security, court processes, due process and international nature of the changes to Idaho law were discussed with individuals in Idaho and at the federal level. Unanswered or not adequately answered questions, particularly by IDHW, increased the HJRAC concerns.
Compare this to the handling of the career ladder issue. Starting early, the Education Committee spent most of the session discussing this issue including days of questions, timely answers with plenty of information. Then after several drafts and much discussion the result was a consensus bill that became law during the normal legislative process.
After adjournment, it became clear amendments to SB 1067 were possible. Discussions with IDHW, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Idaho Attorney General, Heritage Foundation, National Council of State Legislators, American Legislative Exchange Council, Congressional Research Service, and Congressional Committees resulted in several amendments being drafted some of which became part of HB 1 in the special legislative session.
These amendments stated:
- Idaho will not; recognize foreign orders, reciprocal agreements, enter into agreements, or enforce orders that are in violation of the U.S. or Idaho constitutions or Idaho public policy;
- Idaho courts can limit enforcement;
- The Director of IDHW will; develop safeguards for private personal information, authenticate data requests, ensure privacy, safety and security of sensitive information, and report to the legislature;
- Procedures established will only be used for the purposes intended as explained in the bill.
- The State of Idaho shall take all necessary steps to ensure the security of data and prevent its inappropriate disclosure to unauthorized persons, entities or jurisdictions.
- Idaho will request a withdrawal from the agreement if violations occur.
Finally, does the bill as passed address all of my concerns? Absolutely not! Is it right that the federal government be allowed to use extortion and intimidation to coerce Idaho? Absolutely not!
Should Idaho nd more ways to push back against the federal government intrusions? Should we be cautious regarding how the United States and Idaho interacts with the international community? Should the legislature more extensively exercise its oversight authority over state agencies? Should the legislature do everything possible to protect the personal information and privacy of Idahoans? Does the legislature need to monitor this and all programs to ensure maintenance of good public policy? My answer to all of these questions is absolutely yes!
In short, the legislature did its job well! And even though responsibility can legitimately be assigned to a variety of entities or parties for the extra time it took to get the legislation approved, the positive result was that Idaho will continue to provide the essential child support program to our citizens.