Rep. Heather Scott update March 11, 2019. Vote tomorrow on school levys.

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Idaho State Legislture

March 11, 2019 

Representative Heather Scott - District 1


Tuesday, March 12 is a school levy special election in many districts across the state.  Some of the ballot questions will make levys permanent in some districts.  Please do your homework and vote tomorrow!

Crazy Days at the Capital!



There is roughly 20 days left in the 2019 legislative session and the pace has really picked up. To have 20-30 bills on the reading calendar every day is not uncommon. This is the time when bad legislation can slip through the cracks. Below are some highlights:




Marsy's Law Failed in the Senate!  This constitutional amendment was funded by a California billionaire with a impressive rap sheet of crimes.  This is the third year we have been lobbied hard on this piece of legislation which would have removed due process and may have been a back door for red flag laws. Hopefully 3 strikes means it out for good!




HB 120 The Sex-ed opt-in bill passed the House Floor and is headed to the Senate.  This bill provides an additional layer of protection for parental rights, ensuring that parents are the top authority for deciding if their children will be taught about sex in a public education setting.  Currently, public schools operate on an “opt-out” process.  HB120 also includes a requirement for all materials taught in sex-ed classes to be made available to parents for public inspection and review and additionally provides that all guest speakers or instructors must also comply with the provisions of Section 33-1608, Idaho Code. This is an important measure that will restore control to parents in a very sensitive area of a child's development. 

HB 170 This CPS bill passed the House and will be heard in the Senate next Monday.  This legislation requires Child Protection Services employees to notify parents or guardians upon initial face-to-face contact of their rights with respect to child protection investigations.



HB 226 The appropriation for the State Board of Education failed on the House floor.  The State Board of Education now needs to reign in its spending, especially when we found out it spent $187,302 (see table below) on publications, memberships and subscriptions last year!  A new bill will be drafted.



HB 206 Concealed Handgun Possession passed committee and is headed to the House Floor for a vote.  This bill will lower the minimum age limit for concealed carrying of a handgun within city limits to 18 years old.  


We still have a serious problem in the Idaho legislature.  Your voice as a citizen is being denied and suppressed while a select few committee chairmen continue to protect unelected bureaucracies or special interest lobby groups by denying debate of proposed legislation. Last year several good bills passed the House and were quietly entombed in Senate Committee Chairman drawers. This year it is a little better in the House, but not the Senate.  The role of a chairman is not to veto bills they don’t agree with but to facilitate the committee process. Pride and arrogance should never drive legislators, and committee chairmen in particularly, should make every effort to foster healthy debate on all bills.  Current practice allows just one legislator to suppress the ideas of other districts across the state. This is totally against the Republic form of government our constitution guarantees.


Abortion Human Rights Act is being denied a print hearing by the Chairman of the House State Affairs Committee. Do you see a trend here?

HB133 Vaccination Bill passed the House Floor but is being denied in the Senate Health and Welfare by the Committee Chairman.  Still obstructing open debate here too.   



Grocery Tax Repeal is being denied a committee print hearing by the Revenue and Tax Committee Chairman. Wow, this looks like a legislative epidemic.


HB100-Adminstrative Rules Review bill to require all pending administrative rules shall be affirmatively approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, via a concurrent resolution. This bill is being held in the Senate. Yep, same problem here too. 


HB99 Mandatory Minimums is being denied a hearing by the Senate Judicial Rules Committee Chairman. I rest my case.

The requested 2020 School Appropriations:


This appropriation included $109 million in additional new General Fund dollars over the current year appropriation, which equates to a 6.1% increase. The new funding includes the following highlights:


  • A $49.7 million increase from the General Fund to fully fund year five of the five-year phase-in of the career ladder compensation system for Idaho’s educational instructors and pupil services staff.
  • $7.3 million for a 3% base salary increase for administrators and classified staff, which are categories of employees not on the career ladder.
  • Adds $21.8 million in discretionary funding. Of this amount, $7.2 million is needed to maintain the current year funding per support unit at $27,481, and $14.6 million is included to increase the discretionary amount to $28,416 per support unit for FY 2020. This equates to a 3.4% increase in discretionary funding over FY 2019 and includes funding for health insurance costs and a CPI adjustment.
  • Fully funds the Governor’s K – 3 literacy initiative recommendation at $13.1 million for FY 2020.
  • There are additional increase and decreases in several other distributions that net to a $109 million General Fund increase over the current year. The FY 2019 appropriation was based on 15,339 full-term support units and the FY 2020 appropriation is based on a projected 15,601 full-term support units, which is a 1.7% increase year-over-year.

Over 62% of our general fund money will go to fund education in 2019.


Medicaid Expansion (Prop 2) is now being discussed daily at the capital.  There are several ideas on how to fund it and what requirements should or shouldn't be added.  Some argue for sunsets and drug testing.  Others want work requirements. Still others want both...….To be continued......