With a 9 hour debate on Wednesday, even though many good Representatives desperately and heroically tried to stop the State Exchange (H248), the bill passed 41-29. H248 will again come to the Senate for consideration. The Commerce Committee will be holding another hearing about H248 in the auditorium on Tuesday at 1:30 pm. Since the State Exchange is against life, liberty, and property, I and many other Senators will try to stop such a travesty from happening in Idaho as it comes to the floor for debate.
Many of the bills relating to our 2nd amendment rights have been moving through the process this week. H219, which prevents state law enforcement and state officials from enforcing any new federal gun regulations, passed the House and is being sent to the Senate for approval. H192, which creates an enhanced concealed weapons permit, passed the House and will be heard in the Senate State Affairs committee. H183, which prohibits cities from regulating concealed carry, has passed the House and is also waiting a hearing in the Senate State affairs committee.
The personal property tax is becoming a major issue during this late part of the session. The personal property tax is a tax which is placed on personal property of businesses. It is an unfair burden on business. The problem is that repeal of such a tax causes a loss to the counties which are already struggling with their expenses. We do not want the tax shifted to real property and we should not expect the counties to have to depend on state monies to replace the tax revenue. I am open to good suggestions.
On Monday the Senate passed SB 1108 which would allow rural communities to have more of a say in the initiative process by requiring that 6% of registered voters in 18 of 35 legislative districts signal their support for the initiative to make the ballot.
On Friday, the Senate had the honor to unanimously pass SCR 124, a Senate Concurrent Resolution that honored five fallen Idaho servicemen. The five fallen servicemen who gave their lives in the service of their country are listed here: U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Brown, 27; U.S. Army Sergeant Chris J. Workman, 33; U.S. Army Private First Class Cody O. Moosman, 24; U.S. Army Specialist Ethan J. Martin, 22 and U.S. Army Private First Class Shane G. Wilson, 20. The families of each of the servicemen joined us as we gave thanks and memorialized the great sacrifice each has given for their country. Their ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten and it was a sobering reminder of why it is that we are Americans and Idahoans. May we honor those who willingly put their life on the line for us and those who have given their lives for the freedoms we cherish.
This is the list of representatives to start calling this weekend to vote against the exchange. These are the ones we decided could still be influenced. There are home numbers for the weekend and office numbers and emails for the week. The vote is Wednesday and your influence is crucial. Please call or email whomever you can and then pray.
Two Positions are open for the school board in District 244 (Grangeville & Kooskia).
We are going to have two seats open on our school board this month. We need a couple of committed parents to run. It's so important that we get
good people to fill the spots of Harold Gott and Ray Stowers ( Jim Church is filling in for Ray til the end of this term but is not going to run again.)
Interested patrons must file by March 22nd. If you have any questions you can call the district office 983-090 and they will fill you in on the details.
After reading about what Senator John McCain from Arizona, and Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, I felt it important to find out what side of this issue our Senators stand (or sit) on this issue.
The senate’s version of the state exchange, SB1042, was rejected by the House which started a new version, HB 248. The House Health and Welfare committee held hearings on Thursday on HB 248 and voted to pass HB248 to establish a state exchange. Many citizens came to testify with about 80% testifying against the new bill. It will be brought to the House floor on Wednesday. It is imperative that you contact your representatives and let them know how you feel about Idaho establishing an exchange!!
The largest budgets in the state passed out of the Finance Committee this week. The education budget of $1.6 billion was approved on Monday. This includes federal funding of $215 million. The Medicaid budget of $2.02 billion passed on Friday. The Medicaid budget includes $1.34 billion in federal funds. The division of Welfare budget of $143 million was approved also on Friday. Federal funding in that budget is $100 million. It is worthy to note that, with federal money, the Medicaid budget is more than the education budget. With that, the budget process has been finished. These budgets will have final approval only after both houses of the legislature pass them.
Both the House and the Senate have made progress this week to ensure and protect our 2nd amendment rights. H192, the bill to establish a new class of concealed carry permits (called enhanced carry permits), has passed the House and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate State Affairs committee. H183, the bill to prohibit city and counties from restricting concealed carry within their jurisdictions and allowing only the state to be able to regulate conceal carry permits, has been passed by the House and is also awaiting a hearing in the Senate State Affairs committee. S1133, the bill to require county sheriffs and school boards to work together to establish school security and safety plans has passed committee and is awaiting to be heard on the Senate floor. HB 219, which prohibits state employees from enforcing any new federal gun regulations, is awaiting a hearing in the House State Affairs.
On Thursday the Senate passed SB 1078 which prohibits Idaho public post secondary educational institutions from discriminating against a religious student group based on the religious student group's requirement that its leaders adhere to its sincerely held religious belief. The law protects the rights of religious student groups to choose their members and preserves their 1st Amendment’s right to freedom of religion.
All of above measures deserve your support and I urge you to contact your legislators to ask them to support them as well.
The state exchange is in the House, where it is awaiting a hearing in the House Health and Welfare Committee. The new bill will be a combination of S1042 and H179. I am concerned that the outcome will not be much better. This bill will be heard in committee next week, probably on Wednesday or Thursday.
The House has passed two bills that ensure and further extend our second amendment rights. The first one, H0183, prohibits cities and counties from being able to ban or regulate concealed carry. The second one, H0192, creates a new class of concealed weapon permit called Enhanced Concealed Carry. This new permit will allow those who choose to get it, to be able to carry concealed in more places. The Senate is working on S1133, which is a measure that will require schools and county sheriffs to work together to create school safety plans, and ensure that schools have minimum standards for threat deterrents. H0219, which prohibits state employees and officers from enforcing any new federal gun law, is still waiting for a hearing.
S1082, the EMS voluntary license plate bill will be voted on next week. This bill is a way to recognize and show appreciation for our volunteer EMT’s throughout Idaho. This not only helps show our appreciation but also allows EMT’s to be more easily identifiable if one was to respond off duty to an accident.
The Healthcare Ministries bill has passed the Senate with great support and is on its way through the House.
This week, several education measures have been brought up to address our public education system including; requiring teacher contract negotiations to be conducted in public, cursive handwriting in public schools, and increase funding for charter schools. Any new education bills will not change tenure or scope of negotiations.
The JFAC Budget process should be finished up by next week, which is a crucial step in the law-making process and is an indication of where the legislature is at, as far as being finished. I would like to cut the Medicaid budget which comprises 80% of the Health and Welfare budget, but that may have to be done through legislation. Medicaid is making our fiscal debt bigger in state and federal government without providing the ability and dignity for people to climb out of poverty level. Medicaid should provide choice for the recipients of Medicaid as well as competition to keep health costs under control. Lastly, JFAC received interesting remarks from various state agencies as to the effects of Washington DC not getting its finances in order are once again effecting Idaho.
by Don Fletcher
Grangeville - We held a rally today, and it was any measure a success. I counted 95 people, when I counted. Sheryl Nuxoll counted 98, there we comings and goings. Saying we had 100 people isn't an exaggeration. I sold 2nd amendment T-shirts by Gem Design, with a part of the proceeds going to the Idaho County Republican Central Committee. I also started off sales on our Rifle Raffle for the Mossberg, 715T 22LR. Sales of both were quite good.
Below is the text of the speech I gave at the rally. Thank you to all who came and demonstrated your support for preserving our right to bear arms.
After nearly 6 hours of fierce debate on the state exchange, Senate Bill 1042 passed the Senate 23-12. Twelve Senators, including myself, fought strategically to bring down S1042; even the staunch supporters admitted to a flawed bill. Now the bill goes to the House, where hopefully the House will succeed in stopping it.
The Food Stamps bill that would change the pay out of food stamps from the 1st of the month to stagger payouts was passed by the Health and Welfare committee, even though there are major concerns with the costs. The bill was also sent back to the committee on Friday to correct a fiscal note discrepancy.
The Healthcare Ministries bill passed through the Commerce committee unanimously, even after 1.5 hours of debate. The interest and support of this faith based sharing ministry for medical expense was overwhelming, as an option instead of insurance. For those who have difficulty paying for insurance, this would be a good avenue to check out.
Additionally, the EMS bill will be up for a hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee next Tuesday at 1:30. Please be sure, if you can, to testify for the bill.
Also, the Department of Health and Welfare’s budget will be coming up for review and approval by JFAC this next week. Besides education, this is our largest budget item as a state. Please let me know if you have suggestions.
The Budget for the Department of Fish and Game was passed this week. It was difficult to reduce the size of the budget due to current laws, but we found some areas to reduce the budget impact with asset replacements. I am open to ideas on how we can save money as a state in the Department of Fish and Game for next year.
This Saturday, I will be delivering a few remarks at a gun rally in Grangeville. I will send out my notes so that those who were not able to attend can hear what is going on. This next week, there will be several measures coming through both houses of the legislature to ensure and expand our 2nd Amendment rights in Idaho. In my notes will be details for some of the bills.
BOISE - As the first month of the 2013 legislative session in Idaho comes to a close, an important Right to Carry reform bill has been introduced in the state House. House Bill 192, by the House State Affairs Committee, would create an enhanced concealed carry license option for those applicants who choose to undergo additional training for more carry benefits.
Under Obamacare, there is a requirement or mandate for health insurance companies to cover contraception, including Ella and Plan B. This is a necessary requirement for preventative services for women to be included in the Qualified Health Plans.
I asked our Attorney General for an opinion. The general consensus from the Idaho Attorney General and pro-life groups (Idaho Chooses Life and Right to Life of Idaho) is that the “abortion opt-out language,” S1115 passed in 2011, will only protect against surgical abortion and the abortion inducing drug, RU486. (Please see the attorney general’s opinion attached)
In other words: the opinion states that, with the state exchange, our insurance companies may not provide coverage for surgical abortions or RU486, but would be required to provide for Plan B and Ella since they are emergency contraceptives. Plan B and Ella are potential abortifacients since they can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg (baby). These drugs also are known to prevent ovulation. If this emergency contraception would in fact prevent implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus, this is in fact an abortion. But because the woman is "not known to be pregnant” when she takes this emergency contraception, an abortion could not be definitively proven.
The labels on Plan B and Ella show that they can cause an abortion. The literature advertising Ella says: “Ella may also work by preventing attachment to the uterus.” In other words, it may prevent implantation of the fertilized egg, which is in fact an abortion.
The same is true for Plan B. The FDA package insert states that Plan B One-Step may inhibit implantation by “altering the lining of the uterus.” Again, this is preventing implantation of the fertilized egg which is in fact an abortion. (See links below).
Thus, by admission of manufacturer statements, these two drugs have the potential for causing the death of a newly conceived human child. To support this mandate of Obamacare through an exchange would require us to pay for potential abortifacients. There is no opting out of this mandate.
Michael Cannon from the Cato Institute in DC said, "Refusing to create an exchange will block Obamacare from imposing a tax on employers whose health benefits do not meet the federal government's definition of "essential" coverage. That tax can run as high as $3,000 per employee. A state that refuses to create an exchange will spare its employers from that tax..." Oklahoma is now in a lawsuit over the issue that the ACA doesn’t allow for the tax penalties to flow through a federal exchange.
"In blocking that employer tax, state officials would likewise block Obamacare's effort to force religious employers to provide coverage for services they find immoral--like contraception, pharmaceutical abortions, and sterilization."
In other words, blocking that employer tax, would thus block Obamacare's effort to force employers to provide coverage for the potential abortifacients Ella and Plan B.
IDAHOANS LOOK TO THE STATE AS LAST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST OBAMACARE:
The trouble with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or Obamacare) is that it doesn’t protect patients, make healthcare more affordable, or improve care. The trouble with a “state” (vs. federal) health exchange (S1042 & H179) is that it doesn’t place the state in control - a state exchange has to comply with the same rules as a federal one. In both pieces of legislation, one needs to look past the misleading titles and into the text itself. What these bills really do is increase government control at the expense of personal choice, freedom, and responsibility.
Weekly Report from Senator Sheryl Nuxoll.
The State Exchange was delayed temporarily this week as a counter-offer exchange was put forward by the “Gang of 16”-freshman representatives, who wanted to throw their weight into the mix of the exchange debate. Be sure to capitalize on this delay and contact your legislators to voice your concerns about Idaho establishing a state exchange.
February 10, 2013
WeAre1776.org - To my generation,
Upon writing a letter to President Obama regarding his gruesome and unconstitutional drone policy, I feel it is paramount that I write a letter to you warning you about what is to come; warning you – that if you do not take action now – you will not be able to enjoy the life pleasures you have been acquainted to.
I know, from personal experience, that most of you would rather be out partying, hanging out with friends, watching television, playing video games, or hanging out with your girlfriends/boyfriends than paying attention to politics. It is not hard to see that social appearances top that of actual intelligence and critical thinking. I understand that society has plagued you with a considerable amount of pro-government propaganda and demoralizing content. It is blaringly obvious that you rather have your friends think you are “cool” than stand out from among the crowd and stick up for your rights, as well as your morals. Lastly, I understand that not all of you have fallen ill to the ignorance that has an insurmountable stranglehold over our society. However, sadly as this may be, we are in the minority. That being said, I don’t mean to pain the matter with a broad brush, but a majority of our generation are not critical thinkers and are not the least bit interested in fighting against the ever-increasing authoritarian state. Therefore, this letter speaks to the majority as a warning, and it speaks to the minority as a motivator to furnish new warnings to our generation and as an inspiration to make us want to take further action.
Weekly Report from Senator Sheryl Nuxoll.
The debate of whether to establish a state exchange or not was waged in the Senate Commerce Committee where on Thursday it passed 8-1. The only dissenting vote was Democratic Senator Brandon Durst. Now it will go before the whole body to be debated. Please contact members of the Senate and voice your concern on why we do not want a state exchange!
Although the Health and Welfare Committee delayed the immunizations bill from moving forward, another bill is being brought forth. It was just approved for printing and will be surfacing sometime next week. As with the last one, I am concerned about the implications that it will have. It still is an opt out system and also includes adults. This means it would be very easy for the health provider not to ask the patient if they do not want to be included in the state data base.
In the Finance Committee, the supplemental budgets passed for Medicaid and for the Child Youth Challenge Program. We are very excited about the Youth Challenge receiving its funding authority to start. But it is frustrating to establish a budget for Medicaid since the U.S. Health and Welfare Department keeps changing their rules, especially the rules establishing the amount of money that the federal government will match to state funds for newly eligible on Medicaid. This is proving to be a major burden on the legislature to try to establish a smart and responsible budget. This is why the states should be left with as much decision making responsibility as possible so that Medicaid becomes more efficient. When Health and Welfare take all of the extra money to implement the rules for Obamacare, there is no money left for important causes, such as education and prisons, in this tight economy.
Some legislation will be surfacing next week on helping ensure and protect our 2nd amendment rights.
There is no legislation yet on the personal property tax.