This was a big legislative week for public defense. House Bill 504 passed the Senate on 3/15, and is heading to the Governor’s desk. The funding bill, which would provide the $5.5 million to make HB504 possible, was introduced on 3/16, passed the House unanimously on 3/18, and is making its way to the Senate.
After weeks of expedited wrangling with an extremely large and diverse group of stakeholders, the stakeholders and Senator Davis were able to come up with some language that would solve the problem in which appurtenant easements are eliminated through the tax deed process. This effort could have easily taken several months, but because of the urgency of the matter, the group was able to come to some consensus in about 5-6 weeks. Senate Bill 1388, which represents the end product, passed the Senate unanimously on 3/16, and passed the House Local Government committee unanimously on 3/18, thus heading to the House floor.
Quite a bit of interest has been focused on three public lands bills. Senate Bill 1338, which is headed to the Governor’s desk as of 3/18, formalizes a process for county commissioners to declare a catastrophic nuisance on federal lands, to correspond with federal agencies, and to dialogue with the Idaho Attorney General’s office.
House Bill 582, which passed the House on 3/17, provides administration and management criteria that would apply if the federal government were to transfer federal lands to the state of Idaho.
House Concurrent Resolution 53, which passed the House on 3/18, states that the Idaho Legislature is opposed to proposals that would keep sportsmen from accessing state endowment trust lands on the basis of exclusivity.
Despite IAC’s opposition, House Bill 431, which would replace the House Price Index with a fixed $100,000, became law on 3/20. On 3/23, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee will hear a bill that would do some housekeeping, and ensure that HB431 would go into effect on January 1, 2017, and not in the middle of 2016 as currently drafted.
The future of the most recent iteration of the urban renewal legislation, House Bill 606, is uncertain. It was printed on 3/15, but was then sent to the House’s amending order on 3/17, and taken up on 3/20.
Another health care bill is expected on Monday (3/23) morning, and rumors are that it is a Medicaid, not a primary care, bill of some form.