The Walk for Life is Saturday, May 10, 2014 at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Center, South B Street, Grangeville.
8:30 - 9:30 Free Breakfast
10:00 Walk (about 2 miles)
10:55 Celebration & Prizes
This is perhaps the most important fundraiser for the Hope Center (formerly Hope Pregnancy Center) of Grangeville and Kamiah.
Come and promote and proclaim "Life"!
For Information about the Hope Centers please call (208) 507-1253 or visit www.HopeCenterGrangeville.org
The Pregnancy Center not only moved, they changed their name to "Hope Center" too. Nancy J. Connolley, the Director, sent me an email that included the following:
"Hope Center is now open at our new location in Grangeville: 111 N. College in the building that we share with the Crema Café. Our mailing address and phone number stays the same: PO Box 504, Grangeville ID 83530 and 208-983-0093. We will keep our same hours: Mondays 1:00-5:00, Wednesdays and Fridays 1:00-4:00.
To celebrate and show off our new facility, we will have an Open House on Friday, February 28 from 2:00-5:00 and Saturday, March 1 10:00-3:00. Stop by for tours and snacks. We “hope” to see YOU then!
Blessings, Nancy for Hope"
Hope Center Grangeville Office 983-0093
Hope Center Kamiah Office 935-0376
Director’s Cell 507-1253
“Hope for the future & help for today”
This week was full of discussion and testimony regarding two important legal issues: justice reinvestment and gun laws.
On Wednesday the Senate State Affairs Committee listened to the presentation of S1254 by lobbyist Dakota Moore of the National Rifle Association. This bill would allow for carrying of concealed weapons on public college campuses for ex-law enforcement officers and individuals over 21 who have been specially trained. College presidents are against the bill, but many professors favor the bill. After much debate, the bill was passed in committee 7-2. I am a co-sponsor of this bill.
The Senate State Affairs Committee passed S1332 on Friday which protects Idaho law enforcement officers from enforcing federal government gun regulations on Idaho citizens. Another bill S1349 protects Idaho citizens from the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which allows trial without jury during times of emergency or war. These 2 bills were resurrected from last year. I am in full support of these bills to protect Idaho citizens from the federal government.
The Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Justice Reinvestment Act, S1331, in the Lincoln Auditorium on Wednesday. Some people do not see this piece of legislation as being ready yet, but others contend that it is a step in the right direction towards some much needed reform in the prison system, especially the pardon and parole system. Idaho Freedom Foundation finds the overall approach of this bill as good, but urges caution with definition of violent and non-violent crimes.
The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee set the projected revenue in Idaho this year at $2.987 billion, which is the governor’s recommendation. This projection is a 6% increase from last year’s revenue. I voted for a lower projection of $2.93 billion. The finance committee also favors a 2% increase for state workers, with 1% permanent and 1% a one-time bonus. On Friday, the committee held a public hearing on the 2015 budget.
The full Senate will take up a bill that would allow the speed limit to be raised up to 80 mph on some stretches of rural interstate. It would also allow ITD to raise the speed from 65 to 70 mph on sections of state highways.
Senators are finding support for a bill that would remove sales tax on food purchases. The bill would eliminate sales tax on groceries, helping Idahoans balance their household budgets. The bill, if passed, would go into effect in June 2016.
The religious freedom bills, H427 and H426, are being held in limbo as the house has refused to vote on them. These bills protect business owners and private citizens from being forced to hire against their religious beliefs. Please contact legislators and ask them to bring it out of the amending order. This is happening because they do not want a vote in an election year on something so controversial.
In Health and Welfare, Representative John Rusche brought up S 1329. This bill would set up a board for coordinating trauma, stroke and heart attack victims. The concept is great, but I oppose the bill because it is a big expansion of government, creating new governmental boards.
Former Idaho County Teacher of the Year John Eynon is Running for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
John Eynon announced his running at the January 21st Idaho County Republican Central Committee (ICRCC) meeting.
"I am running because I am opposed to our children being taught the low standards envisioned by Common Core," said Superintendent Candidate John Eynon. "The proposed Idaho Core Standards play into the over-reach of federal control into Idaho's education. Local School boards, teachers, and parents know what is best in the education of their children. This point of view needs representation in Boise."
To donate please donate through the website or mail to:
Eynon for Education
P.O. Box 609
This Announcement has been approved by the Treasurer of the John Eynon for Superintendent Campaign, Patricia Menough, Treasurer, P.O. 609, Grangeville, ID 83530
Last night, I was in the Capitol listening to President Obama’s State of the Union speech. The State of the Union is an annual opportunity for the President to lay his agenda before Congress and create a framework for finding common ground. The best way to do that, of course, is to generate a spirit of mutual trust, demonstrate a commitment to good-faith negotiations, and indicate a shared understanding of our Constitutional responsibilities.
Unfortunately, what I heard from President Obama last night was hostility toward our foundational principles, condescension toward a co-equal branch of government, and a general aversion to common sense and bipartisanship.
Specifically, the President remains committed to a philosophy of “trickle-down government” - a view that Americans can only succeed if the government spends money it does not have on programs that we can ill afford. This view has burdened our economy throughout his Administration, prolonged the recession and is putting America at risk of a fiscal crisis in the next few years.
The fact that he is threatening Congress with executive orders if we do not follow his agenda is even more alarming. In response, Congress should insist that President Obama faithfully execute our current laws before trusting him to execute new laws. And if he refuses, we must hold him accountable.
I will continue to be an advocate for a new approach – a better approach, focused on more freedom, more opportunity, and more innovation. I will work in a bipartisan way when possible and stand on principle when necessary in order to keep my promises to the people of Idaho.
This was Education week for the Legislature. College students and faculty from all over Idaho came to the Statehouse to represent their schools.
The Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee heard presentations from the college and university presidents. There was much talk of remedial education required by the colleges to prepare high school graduates for college. They are providing some incredible customized workforce training. Superintendent Tom Luna also gave a presentation on public education, advocating for Common Core and increased teacher pay in Idaho. $35 million has been proposed for discretionary funding, which is sorely needed by our rural schools. One of the biggest expenses for schools is insurance which is about 50% of discretionary funding. It is disconcerting that that Blue Cross is passing on to the state the increased cost of insurance due to implementing Obamacare in our state. Go online at legislature.idaho.gov, select Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee, click download audio/video.
Honorable Chief Justice Roger Burdick addressed the Senate on the State of the Judiciary. Great strides have been made in problem solving courts throughout the state. As a result of the drug courts, 18 new babies were born drug-free to drug court mothers, bringing the total to over 300 babies since it was established.
On Wednesday, the Joint House and Senate Education Committee held a Common Core discussion forum. A panel of proponents and opponents answered questions submitted over the past 10 days regarding Idaho Common Core Standards. This forum can be seen online at http://www.legislature.idaho.gov : select Senate Standing Committees as the category, select Education for the Committee, then click Download Audio/Video for January 22nd. I have grave concerns about common core, especially the testing called SBAC. Hopefully, there will be legislation to deter the testing because testing determines what the student learns.
On Friday the Joint Senate and House Health and Welfare Committee held an open discussion forum during which the public were permitted to name issues and complaints. Many complaints centered on OPTUM Healthcare, which is the provider contracted by Health and Welfare to provide managed care. Most of the complaints were on delays for authorizations to begin care for patients. Both the Senate and the House will be hearing from OPTUM representatives next week to see how these issues could be resolved.
A bill has been presented requiring the Idaho Tax Commission to refuse the federal tax filing status for couples whose marriages are not recognized in Idaho, such as same sex marriages.
A personal bill was introduced to repeal Obamacare.
Parents are the primary educators of their children. It was this way from the very beginning, even when there were no schools. However, parents may delegate this responsibility to those whomever they trust: private schools, tutors, public schools. Even though they may do this, the primary responsibility lies on the parents to ensure that these schools are following their educational philosophy.
The Governor’s State of the State address recommends a $2.9 billion budget. Governor Otter is seeking to increase the spending percent by 3.7% or $107 million.
Again, I am a committee member of the Finance, Judiciary, and Health and Welfare Committees. In the committees, the rules derived from the 2013 legislation are being reviewed to determine how state departments are implementing changes to the laws passed last year.
The Finance committee is reviewing the Health and Welfare department budget, which includes expenses for health insurance exchange,
Medicaid, and other health agencies. The governor has recommended paying for health insurance increases for state employees. The increases are imposed by Obamacare on the insurance companies who are passing it on to the state. I am not supportive of the taxpayers of Idaho having to pay for state employee’s insurance increase due to Obamacare. I would rather support a wage increase so that they can choose how to spend their money.
The Health and Welfare committee passed rules which Obamacare demands for applying for subsidies and Medicaid on the exchange. These are called MAGI rules. I voted against a DEQ rule that increased unnecessary regulations for medical incinerators. Plans are being made to set up 3 Behavioral Health Community Crisis Centers in Boise, Idaho Falls, and Coeur d’Alene. I am enthused about this program.
The Joint Judiciary & Rules committee reported on an analysis on new policy approaches to avert recidivism (when inmates are sent back to prison within 3 years of being released). The report notes that the biggest problem deals with probation and parole. Most states have 3 years for probation whereas Idaho has 5 years. I agree with the report and favor reducing the years of probation.
Common Core is being evaluated and discussed. With Senator Steven Thayn’s help, we are hoping to avert the disaster of this program. Watch for my letter to the editor on this topic.
Religious freedom and firearms will be big issues also this session.
Please take a moment to watch my video response to Governor Otter's State of the State speech below:
Governor Otter's speech offers more evidence that he is out of touch with Idaho's problems. We cannot afford to continue with the status quo. We need innovative leadership and new solutions to the problems facing our state.
For Immediate Release April 11, 2013
For Further Information Contact:
Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt, (208) 935-5217
Washington, DC – Idaho County Commissioner Skip Brandt provided testimony today to the US House Natural Resources Committee in strong support of Idaho Representative Raul Labrador’s Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act.
Labrador’s legislation authorizes pilot projects for selected national forest lands to be managed in trust to benefit rural communities.
“We need to face facts.” said Brandt. “The federal government is deeply in debt but still must meet its obligations to local communities where they own most of the land.”
More than 83% of Idaho County is in federal ownership and is not taxable by local government. Instead, the federal government makes direct payments to counties under the Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS) which is expiring in 2013. The SRS payments are essential to sustaining those county services.
Labrador’s bill calls for establishing working forest trusts which generate revenues for local government in lieu of payments from the US Treasury.
“I am excited to try something besides standing around with our hand out for a Federal check” said Brandt.
Commissioner Brandt also serves on the Clearwater Basin Collaborative, a broad multi-stakeholder group formed to gain agreement on federal forest management opportunities in north central Idaho.
“The smoke is getting thicker and thicker every summer. It is time to find a real long term solution for the environment and the financial stability of Forested Rural Counties.” said Brandt.
Measuring the economic impact of federally owned land can be done in a variety of ways, but any analysis will likely end up being reductive. The primary reason is because such an analysis can only measure what is known about past allocation of resources and compare them to present allocations. This typically involves enthusiasts for oil, gas, and mineral extraction bemoaning lost production pitted against conservationists who tout the economic benefits of recreation and tourism. However, aside from the fact that federal holdings in the West are so expansive that there is enough for all who would seek their fortune through the utilization of these resources, the greatest cost of federally managed land is primarily an opportunity cost. Oil and gas revenues, recreation and tourism, mining, ranching, and timber harvesting generate a relative pittance compared to what is lost from not having a free market oriented, fully-efficient allocation of resources. To illustrate this point, I will compare two cities: Boise and Boston
To begin the comparison of these two capitals, I would like to start with a few economic metrics from their states:
Idaho – $54,800,000
Massachusetts – $377,700,00
Percentage of public land
Idaho – 70.4%
Massachusetts – 6.3%
Read it all at Post Scarcity Alliance.
This week was supposed to be the last week of the legislature for this session. However, due to some major concerns with the public school budget appropriation bill, the bill was killed and now JFAC must establish a new budget that includes remedies to the concerns in the budget.
I voted against the budget appropriation bill because I had serious concerns with the process that was taken to draft the budget as it was. Hopefully, by reviewing the budget again, we can create a public school budget that follows input and the education policies. A few of the other education bills have passed.
The Personal Property Tax (H 315) passed, which allows for $100,000 exemption on business personal property, and a $3000 exemption on a small item of tangible personal property. It provides a mechanism that protects local cities and counties from feeling a major tax shift. While I would like to see the whole tax repealed with the counties having revenue independence from state revenue, this bill was a reasonable and responsible step in the right direction.
This week, H219 and H280-the 2nd Amendment Protection bills, and S1133 the School Safety and Security Plan bill, have fallen prey to political games. H219 and H280 were held in the Senate State Affairs committee due to timing issues and legal questions. Because of these actions all three bills are stalemated. I urge you to call your Legislators and urge them to move forward with the bills that you are concerned about.
FULL COMMITTEE HEARING:
Options for reauthorizing and reforming the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and Payments in Lieu of Taxes
SD-366 Senate Dirksen Building 10:00 AM
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the options and challenges related to possible reauthorization and reform of two payment programs for local governments - the recently expired Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes.
The hearing will be webcast live on the Committee's website, and an archived video will be available shortly after the hearing is complete. Witnesses’ testimony will be available on the website at the start of the hearing.