Weekly E-Newsletter from Representative Lance Clow

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Idaho State Legislture

Representative Lance Clow, District 24A - Twin Falls                              January 24, 2018

64th Legislature Convenes with the State of the State

The second session of the 64th Legislature kicked off January 8th with Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter’s State of the State Address.  This was also my sixth year representing you in District 24.  The governor provided his longest State of the State remarks, as this is also the last time he will address the Joint Session of the Legislature.  The joint session includes all the members of the Idaho House of Representatives, the Senate, each constitutional officer, the Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.  Education and tax reform were high on his list of priorities.  You can find an archive of the 2018 State of the State in the state video archives.  You will need to fast forward to his remarks which began about halfway into the recording.

Plenty of Administrative Rules to Review in 1st Weeks

The first week is generally slow and builds momentum, however, I did sense some urgency to stick to the schedule to conclude with a “Sine Die” motion by March 27th.  Each of my committees, Education, Business and Local Government, met for an organizational meeting.  They were highlighted by the organization of sub-committees to review the pending, temporary and fee administrative rules.  There are 37 rules to be reviewed by the Business Committee and as Vice-Chairman, it is my responsibility to organize the sub-committees.  The Education Committee has 25 rules to be reviewed. 

What if an Existing Rule needs to be addressed?

In a related matter, all existing rules (final rules) can be reviewed as well.  This year I intend to address two related final rules governing the required “annual” testing of residential “backflow” devices.  The Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Public Safety each have a rule that requires annual testing of all residential sprinkler backflow devices.  My research indicates that the “annual” nature is somewhat arbitrary.  The serious problems identified were the result of an improper installation, which should have been discovered by the required initial inspection.  We will be considering these final rules for a less burdensome inspection schedule; perhaps, bi-annual or tri-annual. 

Idaho to Pilot Public Testimony via Remote Sites!

       Over the past few years, I am often asked how I like being in the legislature.  My standard response, “it was the next logical step in my community service, but I do miss local government.”  What I find frustrating is the dominance of public testimony from Treasure Valley citizens.  It is logical, as they live so close to the Capitol and hearings are announced with as little as one-day notice.  Accordingly, hearings take on a very urban tone and rural Idaho is minimized.  Most rural legislators and those from urban cities that are at a distance from the Capitol, rely on their outreach conducted back home.  When the bulk of testimony is weighted to the needs of the larger cities, counties and school districts, urban citizens do not understand why legislators from more rural districts may rely on what they have learned from their own districts. 

       To address this imbalance, I am excited to report remote testimony sites are being piloted this year.  Last year Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy, asked what I thought about offering live remote (audio/video) testimony for our committee public hearings.  I thought it sounded great and suggested sites like the College of Southern Idaho may have the technology in place.  You can learn more by going to this link:  https://legislature.idaho.gov/remote-testimony/ .  A few select Education Committee meetings will offer remote testimony from seven sites around the state, CSI being one of those sites.  Hopefully, I will have enough prior notice to send out a brief e-newsletter to everyone on my distribution list.  We will see how the technology works and the reactions from all parties to the pilot program.  If you are not on my Legislative email list, you can send me your email address, or go to House Membership.  Scroll down to Lance W. Clow and click on “Subscribe to Mailing List”, which offers you an opportunity to enroll in the e-delivery of information. 

Let's Keep in Touch

This is my first legislative letter in 2018. I send out 200 letters from a rotating list every two weeks.  As we work through our list, you will likely see another letter later in the session.  I try to incorporate most of these bi-weekly letters into my E-Newsletter.  If you would like to be included, in the E-Newsletter, you may subscribe by sending your email address to lclow@house.idaho.gov.  I am home most every weekend and have some limited time available to meet.  If you have an interest in meeting or setting up a time for your neighbors or organization, please let me know.  We will try to accommodate your needs.