Representative Lance Clow Sine Die Newsletter

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Idaho State Legislture

Representative Lance Clow, District 24A - Twin Falls                                      April 4, 2018

Legislature Adjourns Sine Die on March 28th

     The 64th Idaho Legislature closed the year with the call for “Sine Die”.  “Sine Die” is a Latin term to designate the Idaho legislature has adjourned, with no appointed date for resumption.  The legislature was on a very deliberate schedule to be completed by March 27th, an arbitrary, yet realistic goal.  The goal included an allotment of time (five business days) to address gubernatorial vetoes, that must be executed within five days of delivery.   Last summer the Idaho Supreme Court admonished both the executive and legislative branches to tighten up the process of submitted bills to the Governor and the time allotted for a veto.     

Governor's Veto of HB501 Sustained

     On Tuesday, a veto of H501 was returned to the House of Representatives.  This was the first veto that has been considered for override in my six legislative sessions.  Most have occurred following the Legislature’s “Sine Die.” In those cases, there is no opportunity to override a veto, which requires a two-thirds super majority of both bodies.  H501 was a simple bill that originally passed the House with only one ‘Nay”.  It removed from a list of suggested performance measures for teacher evaluations the “Idaho reading indicator” (IRI).  The IRI has been used for approximately 20 years to measure a student’s (Kindergarten – 3rd Grade) reading proficiency.  It is an old tool that has been criticized because it emphasizes reading speed and not comprehension.  After H501 was approved in the House, the Budget for the Superintendent of Public Instruction (S1354) was rejected by the House.  The issue was not the Superintendent, but a lack of funding for a replacement reading assessment to the current IRI tool.   A few days later, the House approved H717 to provide funding for a new Idaho reading indicator tool.  H717 was signed by the Governor.  The Governor interpreted H501 as a removal of a much-needed literacy assessment tool.  Considering the funding for a new Idaho reading assessment, the Governor’s veto was sustained by the House on Tuesday.  Our K-3 students will now have a new reading assessment tool, “I-Stations” and teacher evaluations may include student growth assessments with the new IRI.

Final Day Spent with Idle Time and a Veto of H566

     The final day of this year’s session was anticlimactic.  The Governor did veto H566 and allowed H658 to go into law without his signature.  H566 provided Charter Schools the opportunity to hire an administrator without the traditional school administrator certificate.  Most other states allow this flexibility for Charter Schools.  The bill sponsor made a motion to send the bill back to the Education Committee.  This effectively sustained the Veto, as a committee meeting was not requested by the Chairman.     

     H658 was expected to be vetoed, not H566, so for all the waiting it was a surprise.  H658 updated and expanded civil and criminal trespass laws.  The first version of the bill, H536, was  rewritten to address many concerns and the Senate amended H658 to make further changes.  The bill was strongly supported by the farming/ranching community and sportsmen feared it was to broad.  Sportsmen fear inadvertent trespass and potential penalties. Property owners desired more protection.  The replacement bill and amendments were well debated in committees and on the floor.  I ultimately supported both these bills. 

2018 Legislation Sponsored by Representive Clow

Affiliated Retailer Tax Collection - My sixth version of a bill to address uncollected sales/use taxes, H578 became law.  The bill, which is often misrepresented as a tax increase, expands the term “Retailer engaged in business in this state” to include out-of-state retailers with affiliation to existing Idaho retailers.  Existing Idaho retailers are required by law to collect and remit sales taxes on Idaho sales.  By extension, any out-of-state retailer selling more than $10,000 of goods through existing Idaho retailers shall now be required to collect and remit the sales/use taxes.  These taxes are not new; they are uncollected.  Some Idaho taxpayers remit those taxes on their Idaho Income Tax Return; however, a clear majority of citizens do not understand that the tax is owed and fail to remit these taxes.

Household Sprinkler Annual Testing - I was not successful in my effort to change the annual backflow testing of residential sprinkler systems from annual to a less onerous schedule, HCR’s 35 and 37.  The issue is complicated by Idaho regulations in the Idaho Plumbing Code and Department of Environmental Quality.  However, I am pleased to report we have established a new dialogue, which may lead to a positive review of these administrative regulations.

Land Use Planning Act I was asked early in the session to consider an inconsistency with Idaho Supreme Court case law and Idaho’s Land Use Planning Act, (LUPA).  LUPA clearly establishes policy and procedures required by local governments to change any land use (zoning).  LUPA sets a quasi-judicial procedure to follow, which provides both property owners and neighbors a due process for consideration of changes in land use.  H568 codifies the 1983 Idaho Supreme Court decision in Gumprect vs the City of Coeur d’Alene.  In that decision, the court ruled that citizen initiatives were not allowed when land use decisions are coved by state law.   H568 established clarity in state code and the Supreme Court ruling.

Let's Keep in Touch

This is my final legislative e-newsletter for the 64th Legislature. If you are not on my distribution lists, you may subscribe by sending your mailing address, and or email address to  I home now and always appreciate hearing from you.  If you are interested in visiting, give me a call so we can set a time and place.  Community groups often need speakers, so if your group would like to meet with me or a group of legislators, let us know.  We will try to accommodate your needs.