Senator C. Scott Grow Newsletter - District 14

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Idaho State Legislture

January 24, 2020

Senator C. Scott Grow Newsletter - District 14

Dear Friends,


I continue to hear concerns from citizens regarding ever-increasing property taxes.  In response to one constituent’s question, I gave the following description of what is happening on possible property tax relief:


I have been working with other legislators on several different options. You will start to see some of these become public in the next few days. Before presenting a bill, it is necessary to work with other legislators to help them understand what you are trying to accomplish so that you can have the votes to pass a bill. Tax bills generally begin by being presented to the House Revenue & Taxation Committee. Then they go the to the floor of the House for a vote. If a bill passes there, then it is presented to the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee (I am the vice chairman of that committee). Then it goes to the full Senate for a vote. If it passes the Senate then it goes to the Governor for his consideration. He can either sign the bill or veto it. 


It takes 36 votes in the House, 18 in the Senate, and 1 signature from the Governor before the proposed bill becomes law.


When the Idaho Legislature is in session, I am in formal and informal meetings from 8:00 am (sometimes earlier) often until 8:00 or 9:00 in the evening. It never ceases to amaze me the scope and number of things that I need to be expert in to cast informed votes in the Senate. Almost all issues have at least two reasonable sides; I try to know both sides before I make a decision. Once I understand both sides, the “right” decision becomes more apparent.


I continue to fulfill my committee assignments (see last week’s email for details). 

  • The real work of the Senate has not yet come to the floor since bills are mostly still in committees and are working their way through the process (see note above on property tax relief for a description of that process).
  • The Joint Finance & Appropriations Committee is finishing the third week of three hours each day receiving reports from State departments and agencies on last year’s accomplishments compared to their objectives, as well as their financial requests for the fiscal year 2021.
  • The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee is still going through more than 500 pages of Tax Commission administrative rules. We are reviewing ALL the administrative rules to assure they comply with the supporting statute.
  • The Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee reviewed appointees to the Parole Board. I was impressed with the commitment and expertise that these people bring to a very difficult and thankless position.


A few bills have begun to be presented on the Senate floor. The number of bills to be considered each day will begin to increase substantially. In the last Legislative session I voted on more than 700 bills. It is likely the volume will be similar this year.



C. Scott Grow


C. Scott Grow
Statehouse (208) 332-1334 (Session Only)


Local Government & Taxation – Vice Chair
Judiciary & Rules

STEM Day at the Capitol Rotunda


Idaho Legislators met with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) schools in the Capitol rotunda this week. The Idaho Legislature celebrated over 500 students throughout the state who participated in the “STEM Matters” programs. STEM schools focus on early learning and development in a collaborative and project-based environment.  


The goal of STEM is to create opportunities for educators, students, and communities to build a competitive Idaho work force and economy. STEM offers a hands-on approach to education with the objective to build critical thinkers, collaborators, and innovators with problem-solving capabilities. Click here to learn more. 

Idaho’s 2-1-1 Suicide Prevention number


This month, the 211 Idaho Care Line, currently operated by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, partnered with the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline to help those in need of immediate attention. Previously, the 211 Idaho Care Line directed callers to an operator who would then provide them a ten-digit Suicide Prevention Hotline number to call. Now people calling 2-1-1 can be transferred automatically to the Idaho Suicide Prevention hotline through a phone tree or by asking an operator. Legislators have worked to increase suicide awareness and provide more resources to help.


The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is an invaluable tool in the prevention of suicides in our state. The hotline, available to all Idahoans, provides crisis intervention, emotional support, resource referrals, links to local services, and follow-up for those at risk along with their families and loved ones. Click here for more information.

Idaho continues to cut government red tape


Senators and Representatives gather with Governor Little during the signing of two executive orders

Idaho Legislators joined Governor Brad Little last week in signing the first two executive orders of the year, aiming to keep Idaho regulations to a minimum and easy enough for Idahoans to understand. These two executive orders build on Idaho’s achievements last year when the state reduced and simplified 75 percent of its red tape, becoming the least-regulated state in the nation. President Pro Tempore Hill of the Idaho State Senate stated, “We cleaned out the mess. Let’s keep this clean so in another 20 years the new governor won’t need to do what’s already been done.” Speaker of the House Bedke added, “We are committed to working with the Governor to reduce regulation. We want to make Idaho as user-friendly as we can, and that’s what good government is all about.”


Executive Order 2020-01: Zero-Based Regulation requires state agencies to justify every regulation it wants to keep. In order to stay on course, state agencies will review every rule chapter in effect on a staggered, five-year schedule—that’s 20 percent of rule chapters every year. The objective is to prevent ineffective and outdated regulations that accumulate over time.


Executive Order 2020: Transparency in Agency Guidance Documents provides a point of contact, giving the public direct access to ask questions and give input on existing statutes or regulations. This executive order also requires every active agency guidance document be posted on the agency’s website, providing a user-friendly approach for the public to access. In addition, agencies will submit a report every year to the Division of Financial Management, detailing which final orders and agency guidance are used and their purposes. For more on these executive orders, click here.


1st in median household income growth

According to the US Census Bureau, Idaho had the highest growth in median household income in the nation, by far, from 2017 to 2018.


7th best state for business

According to US News & World Report, Idaho ranks seventh in the nation for doing business in the state, measured by states with the lowest tax burden and most venture capital investments. Between the years 2016 and 2018, Idaho had the highest business birth rate in the nation.


8th in GDP growth

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Idaho had the eighth highest growth in state Gross Domestic Product for the Third Quarter of 2019.