Reducing Traffic Congestion
Did you have a rough morning commute? Dreading the drive home? We hear you, and are working on a solution to help!
Your Idaho House of Representatives passed House Bill 325 by an overwhelming 52-18 vote on Monday. The legislation, sponsored by Transportation and Defense Committee, would increase the distribution to the Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation Program from 1 percent of sales tax collections to 2 percent. It would not increase your taxes, at all. This would pump another estimated $18 million into the Fund, which helps relieve traffic congestion around the state. The bill is now under consideration in the Senate.
Ensuring Your Representation
House State Affairs Committee introduced a constitutional amendment on Thursday that deals with our redistricting process. Right now, our Constitution says that there can be no fewer than 30 and no more than 35 legislative districts. The amendment would fix the number of legislative districts at its current number of 35.
The redistricting commission attempts to redraw the voting district lines after the census every ten years. But the commission has been plagued by gridlock, with both of the last two redistricting cycles ending up in court with no results. While the Caucus works for a solution, this amendment would ensure that the situation doesn’t get any worse with a reduction in the number of districts. That would mean less representation in the Statehouse for everyone.
“Long-term, this may be the most important thing that we could do,” said Speaker Bedke.
The committee agreed unanimously to introduce the amendment. It still has to pass the full House and Senate with a two-thirds majority. Also, a majority of voters would have to approve it in the November election.
Honoring Women’s Suffrage in Idaho
Tuesday, we honored Idaho’s significant role in women’s suffrage. Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy spoke on behalf of the Idaho State Historical Society and Idaho’s Suffrage Movement, as the House displayed the original Idaho documents that ratified the 19th amendment 100 years ago. On February 11th, 1920, Idaho was the 2nd state to ratify the amendment to give women the right to vote. By August of 1920, 34 other states had ratified the amendment, ensuring that all across the country, the right to vote could not be denied based on sex.
*picture courtesy: Rep. Paul Amador
INL Day at the Capitol
Wednesday was INL Day at the Capitol! Folks in the rotunda could meet and chat with the people who make the Idaho National Laboratory go. There was also plenty of information on cybersecurity, STEM, energy programs, and nuclear power. As one of the State’s largest private employers, INL plays a vital role in our nation’s defense, energy needs, and technology research and development.
Listen to Us on Your Radio
Two of our members will be featured on the radio this coming week, as the Caucus continues its interview series. House Agriculture Chairman, Representative Judy Boyle, will appear on KLIX Wednesday morning. House Judiciary and Rules Chairman, Representative Greg Chaney, will be interviewed on KBOI Friday morning. Listen in!