[Vision2020] End of Legislative Session Summary from Rep. Trail

Sunil Ramalingam sunilramalingam at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 5 17:18:47 PDT 2008

Rep. Trail,

What is the governor's rationale for opposing drug courts?  As a public defender I appreciate the support these courts have received from the legislature, but I'm baffled by the governor's position.

Sunil Ramalingam

> To: vision2020 at moscow.com
> From: ttrail at moscow.com
> Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2008 21:52:55 +0000
> Subject: [Vision2020] End of Legislative Session Summary from Rep. Trail
>                           LEGISLATIVE NEWSLETTER WRAPUP
> Constituents:   
> The House and Senate adjourned late Wednesday afternoon April 2nd. 
> I opposed SB1447 in the House State Affairs Committee. It was held in
> committee by a 10 to 6 vote.  This is the bill that would reduce State
> Employee Retiree Health Benefits.
> A Conference Committee made up of members of the House and Senate worked on
> HB599AA this week.   This is the bill that would eliminate business
> personal property tax.   The bill passed the both the House and Senate.  
> The bill sets a $100,000 cap. A trigger mechanism will activate the process
>  -- state revenues will have to exceed 5% of the revenues of the previous
> year.   An owner with multiple stores in a county of the same type may
> claim only one exemption; however, if he has a similar business in another
> county he can claim one for that county.  The bill will cost an estimated
> $17 million instead of the original $110 million sought by IACI (Idaho
> Association of Commerce and Industry)--big business.   The bill should
> benefit about 90% of Idaho small businesses. This is a good piece of
> legislation.
> We finally reached an agreement with the Governor and voted to restore 90%
> of the funding - about $15,000,000 - to support drug rehabilitation
> programs and the drug courts.
> In looking forward at the unfinished business awaiting the 2009
> Legislature, the Boise Statesmen outlined a series of issues that will be
> faced and should form the background of the political discussion for the
> campaign.  These points are:
>  1.  Do you believe Idaho has a serious roadwork backlog that will cost
> $200 million a year to remedy?  Should Idaho increase it gas tax?  Should
> it increase vehicle registration fees?
>  2.  Do you want to continue borrowing money, through the Connecting Idaho
> program, also known as GARVEE bonding for work on Idaho highways?
>  3.  Has Idaho provided adequate property tax relief in past legislative
> sessions?  If not, what additional tax relief would you support?
>  4.  Do you support the idea of giving tax incentives to large industries,
> such as Micron Technology or Areva?
>  5.  The state has more than 70 sales tax exemptions on the books, some
> dating back to 1965.  Are all of them still viable, or have any outlives
> their usefulness?
>  6.  A mere 26 percent of Idaho 18-24 year olds attended college in 2006. 
> Gov. Otter wants to create a $100 college scholarship endowment during his
> four year term.  Do you support this idea?
>  7.  Do you support teacher merit pay?  If so, how do you decide which
> teachers deserve a pay raise?
>  8.  Should Idaho follow the lead of most other states and spend taxpayer
> money on  pre-kindergarten education?
>  9.  Does Idaho need to tighten its day-care regulations?
> 10.  When 85 percent of inmates have a drug or alcohol addiction should the
> state, expand drug treatment in prison and community treatment designed to
> help keep people from winding up behind bars?
> 11.  Should Idaho put state tax dollars into community health centers that
> serve uninsured or under-insured Idahoans and keep them from running up
> large emergency room bills?
> 12.  With some 220,000 Idahoans uninsured should the state provide
> incentives to help small businesses to provide health insurance?  Is so, what?
> 13.  Does Idaho need tighter ethic laws?  Should ex-lawmakers have to wait
> before taking lobbying jobs with private industry?
> 14.  Who should make the decisions about where power plants should be
> constructed?
> 15.  Should the state's agencies study climate change and Idaho's
> contribution to greenhouse gas emissions?
> These are provocative issues and will frame much of the debate leading up
> to the 2009 Legislative session.
> I'd appreciate your comments and ideas.   You can reach me via e mail a
> ttrail at moscow.com and telephone at 882-6077.
> Representative Tom Trail
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