Weekly Legislative Update (January 30-February 3)

idaho-capitol

This week the State Controllers Office made a presentation open to the public regarding a new online computer program they will be using. They believe this will far more efficient and significant improvement. It functions somewhat like “a cloud”. Encrypted for security. Additionally it features many tools to make tasks easier to perform.

Thus far this Legislative Session has been wrapping up its review of the administrative rules from the various state agencies. This is valuable process that allows the legislature reject rules or portions of the rules that are unduly burdensome or do not fit with the intent of the code. We have also been reviewing the governor’s appointments of individuals to the various state boards and commissions. We have been moving at a consistent pace.

Senator Lee sponsored Senate Bill 1005 (Child Protection Act). Essentially the purpose was to amend the existing law and to revise definitions. It ensures human trafficking is included in definition “ child abuse and neglect” and “sexual abuse”. This is required for the state to have an approved CAPTA plan. It enables Idaho to better protect children. It passed the Senate floor with a unanimous vote.

Senator Harris sponsored Senate Bill 1009 (Crop Residue Burning). The DEQ reviewed and approved this change. This Bill increases the ozone evaluation threshold, which air quality levels cannot be exceeded, from 75 % to 90 % of National Ambient Air Quality Standard. This results in an increased amount of days in which one is allowed to burn. It is safe for Idaho’s air quality. It passed with 29 Ayes, 5 Nays.

Health and Welfare reported to Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. They have requested $151,498,200.00 for fiscal year 2018. They were appropriated 148,110,400.00 for current fiscal year.

The Capitol had the pleasure of being visited by many groups including the American Cancer Society Action Network, FFA students, Idaho Community Bankers, and Northwest Career Colleges. On Tuesday, January 31, 2017 we celebrated Idaho Forestry Day.