Senator Agenbroad on Legislature's 2nd Week 2018
The second week of the 2018 Idaho Legislature was filled with discussion about taxes, health care waivers, and agency budget meetings.
Taxes – many discussions and considerable analysis is taking place to determine the effects on Idahoans of the change in Federal Tax law if Idaho continues to largely conform our state taxes as we have historically. The tax commission’s analysis indicates the state may receive an increase in its income tax receipts of $97 million. If this is the case, we should expect to see legislation that will address this increase and keep more of the Idaho tax payer dollars in their pockets.
Health Care – the department of Insurance and Health and Welfare is holding meetings about the two federal waivers they are seeking to move a few thousand individuals who use a significant amount of the insurance exchange pool premiums to treat their chronic illnesses out of the exchange pool and on to Medicaid. The promoters of the waiver suggest this will lower the cost of insurance to those who participate in the exchange by at least 20%. The second waiver allows some Idaho citizens who earn below 100% of the poverty limit to gain access to health insurance policies on the exchange and receive an APTC to help offset their cost.
Budget – JFAC heard several agency budget hearings the last week. One significant request was from the Controller’s office who is proposing a very much needed replacement of their 30+ year old accounting and bill paying software system. The price tag for the new system is expected to exceed $100 million to be implemented and paid for over the next 5 years.
This past week Scott Bedke, the Speaker of the House stated that “Jeff Agenbroad has the most honest vote in the entire Capitol”. He made this comment a number of times this past week including a conversation with me. I’m complimented by his comment and am happy to share the story behind the comment for those who may be interested.
This next week will continue to be full of agency budget hearings for me on the JFAC committee as well as more rules review and possible legislation on my Health and Welfare committee.
Senator Jeff Agenbroad