New Working Group to Help Provide Property Tax Relief. The Idaho House Republican Caucus has announced a new legislative working group to study the current property tax structure in the state, and better understand the complexities of the process.
Four members of the Republican Caucus are part of the group, including Majority Leader Mike Moyle, Rep. Robert Anderst, Rep. Rodney G. “Rod” Furniss, and Rep. Gary Collins, who will chair the group.
“Idahoans need property tax relief, and this group’s mission is to figure out how to give it to them,” said Collins. “This state’s property taxes are some of the highest in the nation. It’s not fair, and it puts our working families at a disadvantage. We’ll work to find ways to fix that.”
The working group will also develop strategies to create greater transparency in the process, encourage economic development, meet the needs of local units of government and answer the concerns over rising property taxes.
Joining the caucus members on the group will be Co-Chair Sen. Kelly Anthon, Sen. Dave Lent, Sen. Jim Woodward, and Sen. Scott Grow.
Medicaid Interim Committee Rejects Democrat’s Motion to Collect Data. The Equitable Assessment of Costs Related to Medicaid Expansion interim committee met for the third time last week. The committee recommended that up to $10 million be taken from the counties to help pay the cost of Medicaid expansion.
Sen. Maryanne Jordan (D-Boise) made a motion to wait a year after expansion implementation to collect accurate data on the cost savings, if any, to counties. It did not pass.
“We have no data on how Medicaid expansion will impact indigent healthcare coverage in counties and we don’t have answers from the federal government about whether or not healthcare restrictions will be approved,” Jordan said. “The committee’s recommendations would shift the state’s responsibility for the Medicaid match onto property taxpayers.”
“The committee is premature in trying to address this issue; we’re in search of a problem that hasn’t been identified yet,” said Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise), a member of the committee. “There are myriad moving pieces still in play with Medicaid expansion. The interim committee is expecting counties to pay a portion of Medicaid when it was made clear in committee, that the state has existing funds to cover the cost. I made it very clear in committee, if Medicaid expansion results in any savings at the county level, we need to pass on savings, no matter how small, to the property owners.”
Rep. Christy Zito Announces Candidacy for Idaho Senate, District 23. Following the announcement that incumbent Sen. Bert Brackett will be retiring following this term, Rep. Christy Zito has announced her candidacy for the seat.
"As much as I love my colleagues in the House, I believe that I can bring a much needed conservative perspective to the Idaho Senate," Zito said. "Too often we see good, conservative legislation die or get ignored in the Senate, and I hope to change this."
First elected in 2016, Zito has quickly become an outspoken voice for gun rights, health freedom, and other conservative causes. In the 2019 legislative session, she was a lead sponsor on House Bill 206 to expand constitutional carry in Idaho.
Zito is optimistic about the future. "Idaho is a wonderful place to live and I look forward to serving my community and my state in the Senate as we continue to work toward securing our freedoms and protecting our values. More information is available at ChristyZito.com.
House Republican Leadership Continues Town Hall Series in Rexburg. House Republican leaders and members of the House GOP Caucus from Districts 34-35 will hold a town hall to better connect with their constituents in Eastern Idaho.
Governor’s Salmon Workgroup hosting public meeting in Lewiston. The Governor’s Salmon Workgroup will host a public meeting in Lewiston on Sept. 20 at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Office at 3316 16th St. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Clearwater Room.
The meeting will focus on fish hatcheries in Idaho, hydropower operations along the Lower Snake and Columbia River, and collaborative efforts to meet salmon and steelhead restoration goals. The agenda and call-in number for out-of-town residents to participate, along with additional information about the workgroup is available on the OSC website: https://species.idaho.gov/governors-salmon-workgroup/
The public is invited to provide comments to the workgroup. It is anticipated that more people will want to comment than time allows. Each member of the public will be limited to three minutes a piece, as time permits. Comments will be taken on a first come, first served basis. The workgroup will take written comments, all written comments will be distributed to the workgroup.
Gov. Little directed his Office of Species Conservation to establish a workgroup dedicated to addressing salmon issues. The workgroup held meetings in Boise, Idaho on June 28 and Salmon, Idaho on July 30-31 bringing together diverse stakeholders to collaboratively develop a unified policy recommendation to assist Governor Little as he shapes Idaho’s policy on salmon recovery.
The workgroup will host several additional meetings throughout Idaho to provide opportunities to share perspectives on salmon policy in Idaho. The remaining dates for Salmon Workgroup meetings scheduled in 2019 are October 29-30: Twin Falls; November 19: Boise.
Rathdrum to host ‘Capital for a Day’ event. Gov. Brad Little’s next “Capital for a Day” event will be held in Rathdrum on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 13541 W. Highway 53.
Officials joining Governor Little include:
- Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra
- Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier
- Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Ed Schriever
- Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey
- Idaho Department of Correction Director Josh Tewalt
- Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen
- Representatives from Idaho’s congressional delegation and Small Business Development Center
In addition, representatives of the following agencies and state entities will be on hand to help answer questions: Idaho State Police, Idaho Department of Lands, Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho Department of Water Resources, Idaho Division of Building Safety, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho Division of Veterans Services, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho State Tax Commission, and the Idaho Office of Emergency Management.
“It is my pleasure to bring Capital for a Day to the residents of Rathdrum and Kootenai County," Little said. “The people of Rathdrum and the surrounding area are experiencing rapid growth and change, and I look forward to hearing from citizens with their opinions, questions, and suggestions about how Idaho state government can best serve them.”