Articles by Bob Nonini

Weekly Legislative Update (January 14-18)


Monday: JFAC heard testimony from Idaho CAT Fund Director Roger Christiansen the fund handled more than 6,400 cases last year.  By comparison prior to 2010 the fund handled less than 2,000.  The CAT Fund Director attributed the increase in cases to mental health needs.  Christiansen is asking for more $2 million more in the budget this year.

Tuesday: On Tuesday lawmakers in the Health and Welfare Committee heard a report on foster parent rates and reimbursement rates in the Idaho.  Last year the Idaho Department of Health asked for and received $1 million in additional funding.  This year they are asking for an additional $500,000 to handle new foster parents.

Wednesday: Nationally the President called for Congress to act on his reforms and signed 23 executive orders; since the President’s signing leadership in the House and Senate is worked closely with the Governor’s office to streamline gun protection and public safety bills.

Thursday:  The House passed the first bill of the year, its standard conformance measure.  The bill is simply to make sure that filing your tax returns are as uncomplicated as possible.  The Education Committee also heard testimony on where the money freed up by repeal of the Luna Laws could go.

Friday: Leadership announced that JFAC would stop hearing public input after two years of doing so.  JFAC prior to 2010 had not heard from the public but in 2011 a pilot period of 2 days of the legislature the public could testify was implemented.

All taxed out? Think again

The following is an excerpt from an article published in The Coeur d’Alene Press on January 7, 2013, by Alecia Warren, Staff Writer.

Don’t sigh with relief, when local tax agencies opt against a tax hike. They can still collect those unlevied dollars later. Right now, in face, there is a dizzying accumulation of potential taxes that Idaho taxing districts could tap into, if they so desired. Continue reading…

Weekly Poll #1

Setting the Record Straight

The following is Rep. Bob Nonini’s response to Carolyn Cook on January 2, 2010.

Special to the Coeur d’Alene Press

Last Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009, Carolyn Cooke wrote a guest editorial under the heading My Turn. The editorial had misinformation in it and I will correct the inaccuracies as they relate to me.

Ms. Cooke appears to have issues with Congressional candidate Raul Labrador as it relates to immigration and his duties as a state legislator and immigration attorney. Ms. Cooke has the right to disagree with anyone and any issue.

Sensationalism might sell newspapers and get high ratings on the nightly news, but it has no place in state house policy.

Ms. Cooke stated that I am supporting Rep. Raul Labrador in his race for the 1st Congressional District. This is not true. For the many supporters I have, they know that I was endorsing Rep. Ken Roberts prior to his departure from the 1st Congressional race. In fact the day after Roberts stepped down, Labrador called me (Nov. 11, 2009) and asked for my endorsement of his candidacy. I told him that after Roberts’s departure, neither my wife nor I were endorsing any candidate. The next day (Nov. 12, 2009) Vaughn Ward called and asked for my endorsement. Ward knew that I had been supporting Roberts. I told Ward the same thing I told Labrador.

I did attend Labrador’s candidate announcement in Coeur d’Alene in early December along with around 20 other people. Some of those 20 in attendance are publicly supporting Ward and some Labrador. The Spokesman Review wrote in a following day story that in attendance were myself and another North Idaho legislator as supporters of Labrador. The Spokesman reporter never asked me if I was there to endorse Labrador. This is where it gets frustrating.

One of Ms. Cooke’s friends e-mailed me and sent a very derogatory message after she read the Spokesman article. I told her that I was in attendance but only to hear what Labrador had to say. In fact I have attended two events this past fall where Ward spoke. I want to hear what both candidates have to say. Otherwise, how is one to be an informed voter? In fact I agree with Gov. Butch Otter’s recent statement that there might be more Republicans in the primary by mid March.

Ms. Cooke and members of her group that have strong feelings about immigration have a legitimate concern. I attended along with 35 other concerned citizens an immigration rally that was hosted by a North Idaho senator. I know the attendance number because I counted the audience. My stance on illegal immigration is one of the strongest in the state. As chairman of the House Education Committee I have stopped legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to go to Idaho colleges for in-state tuition rates. I have always spoken against former Sen. Craig’s position on immigration while he was representing Idaho. I voted in favor of a 2007 Idaho Senate bill, which required verification of legal status to receive public benefits except in emergencies.

If Ms. Cooke or her group has issue with Labrador’s positions, that’s one thing, but to lump other legislators into that position without knowing or even attempting to find out the facts is wrong. Ms. Cooke KNEW the facts about my non-support of Labrador and my prior mentioned stance on illegal immigration but just chose to ignore the facts. Instead this group relies on sensationalism. That is how they try and move their agenda, through sensationalism. That is one of a number of reasons the above-mentioned North Idaho senator has not been able to get an immigration bill passed in the Idaho Senate the last two years.

I have always welcomed and enjoyed dialogue with Idaho constituents, whether they agree with my position or not. Once they know my position I would hope that my stance on those issues would be represented truthfully. Sensationalism might sell newspapers and get high ratings on the nightly news, but it has no place in state house policy.

Please, Ms. Cooke, in the future when you are railing on elected officials get your facts straight and only write what you know is true and correct.