Ellis and The Peregrine Fund honor Dr. Tom Cade. Rep. Jake Ellis (D-Boise) partnered with The Peregrine Fund to honor Dr. Tom Cade last week. Cade was the founding chair and director of the Peregrine Fund. The celebration came on the heels of the passage of the Dr. Tom Cade memorial that Ellis helped to draft and sponsored on the House floor. 

“I was honored to sponsor the memorial to honor Dr. Tom Cade,” Ellis said. “Dr. Cade had a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation that is well-deserving of celebration. The Peregrine Fund has made an enormous impact in Idaho and nationwide. Without the organization, we may not have some of the beautiful animals that they have worked so hard to save.”

The Peregrine Fund participated in the celebration and even brought “Schmidt” the Peregrine Falcon. Cade’s efforts helped to recover Schmidt in the 1970s. The Peregrine Fund’s current president and CEO, Dr. Rick Watson, expressed excitement for the memorial. 

"Tom fought for Peregrines and practical conservation solutions.” Watson said. “His reach extended around the globe to inspire raptor research and conservation on virtually every continent and on behalf of hundreds of species. The State of Idaho played and continues to play a valuable role in Tom's and The Peregrine Fund's successes. We are grateful to Representative Ellis and the Legislature for honoring Tom's legacy through this resolution."

Expansion restrictions bill heads to governor. On Friday, the Senate passed the Medicaid Expansion Restrictions bill with a 19-16 vote. The legislation, SB 1204, started as a bill that would have created a voluntary work program for individuals on Medicaid looking to get employed. The legislation was given several amendments in both the Senate and House that changed the bill. Sen. Maryanne Jordan (D-Boise) fought against the legislation in committee and on the Senate floor.

“We sent a bad bill to the House and we got back an even worse bill.” Jordan said. “Through compromise and hard work we came up with legislation that would have empowered Idahoans to get into good paying jobs while providing them with the healthcare they need and deserve. All of that was thrown down the drain for this new Frankenstein bill.”

Some of the amendments include mandatory work requirements, a provision that the legislature review Medicaid Expansion in 2023, and restrictions on the doctors that women can see for family planning services.

Little’s veto of SB 1159 elicits strong reactions. The legislation would have made it tougher to get citizen initiative proposals on the ballot. GOP Caucus Chair Rep. Megan Blanksma said, “Though I’m disappointed that Gov. Little chose to veto SB 1159 today, House Republicans look forward to working with the governor on future legislation that protects Idaho’s processes from out-of-state special interest groups.   I agree with the governor that we must control the rules of our initiative process and keep it out of the hands of the liberal Ninth Circuit Court. I also agree that we cannot become like California, where their liberal initiative processes hamstring their government, resulting in excessive regulation and conflicting laws. Hopefully we can develop new legislation that will ensure that Idaho will avoid such a fate.”

In a joint statement, Reclaim Idaho Co-Founder Luke Mayville, and Executive Director Rebecca Schroeder, said: “Gov. Brad Little sent a strong message to the state by upholding a constitutional right enjoyed by every Idahoan for more than a century.  Our citizens were entrusted to use the initiative power responsibly and judiciously. Our history shows that Idahoans of all generations have upheld that responsibility. Today’s strong action by the governor is a victory for every Idahoan who values our constitution and the role our citizens play in Idaho’s governance.”

The Legislature may still override the governor’s veto, but it would require a two-thirds vote of both houses. Senate Bill 1159 barely passed the Senate (18-17) and passed the House with an “override-proof” margin (40-30). House Bill 296 fared a little better, passing the Senate 20-15 and the House 47-22-1.

Reclaim Idaho was the group responsible for putting Proposition Two on the ballot last November. The measure, which brought Medicaid Expansion to Idaho, passed with 61-percent of the statewide vote. The group has been active during the legislative session, testifying against both anti-initiative bills and meeting with Governor Little just this week, urging his veto.

Public events on Gov. Brad Little’s calendar for the week of April 8-12, 2019

MONDAY, April 8, 2019

Governor Little will attend the 2019 Jobs Plus annual board meeting luncheon at the Coeur d’Alene Resort at 11 a.m.

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019

Governor Little will deliver a lesson on the importance of saving at Teach Children to Save Day at Hawthorne Elementary School in Boise at 9:30 a.m.

Governor Little will speak at the Harmon Killebrew Building Dedication at the Payette Post Office, 915 Center Ave, Payette, ID 83661, at 1 p.m.

‘Trailer’ bill heads to Senate floor. The Senate State Affairs Committee held a hearing for the “Trailer” bill (HB 296). The legislation creates only small changes to theRevenge on Voters Act that was passed in the House and the Senate. After several hours of testimony against the Trailer bill, it was passed in committee with a 6-3 voice vote. There was not a single testimony in favor of the legislation. The legislation now heads to the Senate floor for debate. Sen. Michelle Stennett/(D-Sun Valley) voted against the legislation in committee. “This is like making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” Stennett said. “The Trailer bill makes small, cosmetic changes to the Revenge on Voters Act and will not change its ultimate impacts. Legislators, organizations, and citizens have stood against these bills because it makes it impossible for citizens to get an initiative on the ballot,” Stennett said. “We are taking all the power from the people and putting it in the hands of suspect organizations. This trailer bill will not change that.”

Idaho House Republican caucus pushes back against former treasurer’s allegations. The Idaho House of Representatives Republican Caucus is setting the record straight after former Treasurer Ron Crane made allegations against the legislative body, falsely stating that the legislature doctored documents regarding an expansion of House offices.

“We were shocked to see these allegations in the paper this weekend; they are absolutely ridiculous. We have all the original documents from his budget request of more than $3.5 million to the House of Representatives and the Idaho Division of Financial Management (DFM). The numbers are there but it appears that when the budget was transferred to the Legislative Services Office their template was used, and Ron’s opinions were shortened, his intent was never altered nor was his financial request,” said Speaker Scott Bedke.

The Idaho House Caucus has never said that Crane supported the move, and his hesitation is clearly on the record in all the LSO documents. The House Caucus has been transparent in providing details of an understanding that took place more than a decade ago.

In 2008 during the Capitol renovation and restoration, legislative leadership at the time and former Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter struck a deal to eliminate the expense of adding a second level in the underground wings, reducing its request of a needed 50,000 square feet of space down to 25,000 square feet. The negotiated compromise gave the Executive Branch control of the entire second floor and ceded the first, third, fourth and the garden level to the Legislative Branch.

Even though the statue was changed, House leadership allowed former Treasurer Crane the opportunity to continue to remain in his office on the first floor on a temporary basis or until his retirement.

Currently the Attorney General and Secretary of State hold ceremonial offices in the Capitol but much of their staff are in other state buildings. The Controller has completely relocated, as has the Idaho Supreme Court