Setting the Budgets
Six weeks into the session already. Can you believe how fast this year is going by? Monday was the 36th day of this year's legislative session, which means it was the last day bills could be introduced in committees. Moving forward, all bills must be introduced through a “privileged” committee.
All agencies have now presented to JFAC and this Friday we started by setting budgets for the Department of Finance, Department of Insurance, Board of Tax Appeals, Public Health Districts, Division of Veterans Services, and Office of Drug Policy.
Once we have completed the JFAC process, the budget bills will go on to the floors of the House and Senate for votes with a due pass recommendation in the coming weeks. Between now and March 8, JFAC will have worked through 105 budgets. We certainly have our work cut out for us, and we are committed to allocating your tax payers dollars in an appropriate manner.
I would like to encourage you to log onto legislature.idaho.gov where you will find bills, committee recordings and live stream videos of our House and Senate floor sessions. I am proud of the work being done this year by the legislative branch and your involvement is important!
Lastly, don't forget to connect with me on Facebook.
This week, Legislators met with members of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition. This coalition provides a statewide resource for public and private supporters of suicide prevention, training, and education. 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 for suicide along with their families and loved ones. Click here for more information.
In both the House and Senate this week, Idaho Legislators commemorated the life of Abraham Lincoln. As our 16th President of the United States of America, each year the Legislature honors him for his critical role in preserving our nation as well as creating the Idaho Territory. In the Senate Chambers, orchestra students from Nampa performed “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The Star-Spangled Banner”; speeches were also given in his honor. In the House Chambers, musical performances included “Ashokan Farewell”, “Turkey in the Straw”, and “Arkansas Traveler”.
On Tuesday, the Idaho Women in Leadership (I-WIL) held their annual “Day at the Capitol”. The women learned more about the political process, met with their respective Legislators, and discussed current legislative issues and topics important to them. The “Day at the Capitol” included the opportunity to visit House and Senate committee hearings, attend the House and Senate sessions, and host a lunch and panel discussion with local women leaders. The mission of I-WIL is to provide training in leadership skills, media relations, and other skills necessary to affect a positive impact on female leaders in Idaho. Click here for more information.
The Idaho Farm Bureau met with Legislators this week about the economic progress and well-being of the agricultural industry in Idaho. Established in 1935, the Farm Bureau is an independent farm organization with influence at the local, county, state, national, and international levels.
The Farm Bureau is a grassroots policy development organization dedicated to strengthening agriculture in our state compromised of farm and ranch families. As the official voice of its members, the mission of Farm Bureau is to increase educational improvement, economic opportunity, and the overall well-being of agriculture in the state. Their role includes protecting the rights, values, and property of its member families and neighbors.