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