Latest state legislature News by Rep. Heather Scott

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Grocery Tax repeal Bill Denied by Committee Chairman:

No relief for the little guys again and no opportunity to even hear a proposed bill to eliminate Idaho’s tax on groceries. Yes, that is correct; the entire state is being denied a tax relief, or at minimum, a chance to have a hearing on the issue, because of the lack of action by one legislator. Contact the chairman of the Revenue and Tax committee if you have concerns. The link below will help you connect.

Fish & Game Fee Increases:

Idahoans place a high value on their wildlife and outdoor recreation. This year Idaho Fish & Game introduced House Bill 230, a 22 page bill that increases license fees, and creates a new fee. The funds generated will be fund a set-aside account used to increase funding for wildlife depredation compensation on private lands.

While the additional need specified appear relevant to their duties, I believe the majority of citizens would have favored using dollars from the General Fund instead of raising fees and adding new ones. The budget surplus in the general fund has grown to over $140 million dollars, and could have easily covered the IDF&G’s needs.

I strongly believe Idaho government should not be collecting additional tax dollars from citizens to hold in a rainy day reserve. In the future, this money should be kept in the hands of the people through lower taxes and lower fees and the current surplus should be used for appropriate needs like this one presented by IDFG.

Invasive Species:

There are many ways to approach current and potential invasive species issue in Idaho. Idaho has dealt with numerous plant and animals invasive in the past. There is much anxiety about the potential for the aquatic invasive mussels (Dreissenid species) to impact Idaho waters. Currently there are several agencies, working groups, special interests organizations and legislators working on solutions to this potential crisis. This is being expedited because Montana recently found the quagga mussel in waters there which compelled Idaho agencies to declare an invasive emergency. There will be many different approaches to dealing with this issue and I look forward to reviewing any proposed ideas or legislation which intends to do this while keeping in check the financial costs of any proposed measures.

Road Update Idaho Department of Transportation:

The early 2017 Idaho Department of Transportation Winter Response Report states the following:

A relative break in winter weather has allowed crews to address damaged and potholed roadways across the state. Many routes are experiencing above-average breakup and we anticipate this trend to continue as warming temperatures, above-average snowpack, and forecast precipitation increase the likelihood of flooding, avalanches, and other events that may damage our roadways. Load restrictions have been implemented along several routes to reduce damage to driving surfaces. Engineers and maintenance workers are assessing the damage as we evaluate both long and short-term repairs...

The full report with your district’s specific information can be read at:

Suppressing the Voice of the Citizens:

Frustrations continue to grow for citizens as agency bills sail through committees and the ideas of the citizens are never heard. One way to silence the voice of the citizens is to refuse a bill to be heard. The House Ways & Means Chairman is sitting on a lot of bills and refusing to allow them to be heard. This week when called out on the House Floor by legislators who work for the citizens, the establishment called to “excuse the committee from reporting”. This sent the floor into a recess to check the rules of debate and determine strategy.

Floor debate put much pressure on leadership and the chairman of this committee. At one point they refused to answer more questions during the debate. One went as far as to refer to the members as sheep, following each other off of a cliff and dying, and accusing the members of anarchy for working within the rules to challenge the injustices.

Liberty legislators working for the citizens held their ground, but unfortunately, the citizens lost in this battle once again.

The irony of refusal to hear the bill, HR001 is a resolution to allow all bills with over 10 signatures (5 from both parties) to get a hearing! You can watch my testimony here:

Time to Start Following the Constitution says Representative and A10 fighter pilot Priscilla Giddings from District 7.

It takes guts to stand up to the establishment and demand rules and procedures be followed. If you believe government should follow the very rules they enact then one would not think this is a big deal. However current House leadership thinks citizens won’t notice or care if they first bend and then just ignore rules. Rep. Giddings doesn’t think this is appropriate and neither do I.

Rep. Giddings made a clear point this week about how the Idaho Constitution requires reading a bill three times before being voted upon. The common practice of suspending the reading actually violates the Constitution—which we all swore to uphold. She made an objection to business as usual and asked to have a bill actually be read! Her motion/objection is entirely within the rules.

The true shenanigans came from the establishment in an attempt to embarrass her for simply exercising her right as a representative.

Every word she read was symbolic of a representative who is truly here for the people. To ask for a bill to be read should be commonplace. Not reading bills should be the exception, not the rule!

Based on what we are seeing in various committees, Idaho legislators are likely going to see some of the most overreaching big government bills to appear in a long time. These bills are expected to hit the House floor in the next two weeks and can have some real negative implications to freedom loving citizens. The establishment’s strategy is to wait to introduce these bills until legislators are overwhelmingly busy with reading and trying to decipher the effects of new legislation. These unpopular bills become either “leverage bills” or bargaining tools. The establishment generally wants “yes” votes on all of these and use whatever it takes to get them passed.

I can assure you that liberty legislators are not lulled into letting our guard down. We are here for long haul and will work to defeat as many of these bad bills as we can. Two years ago a 30-plus page bill with a huge tax increase on gasoline and a doubling of citizen’s registration fees was held until 1AM in the morning to insure that establishment could beat down weary legislators. Liberty legislators know to bring coffee to these late night establishment escapades!

Be on the lookout for bad bills.

For a quick look at all bills and how they effect citizens, go to:

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