January 25, 2013

This past week the senate committees have been busy reviewing rules changes submitted by various agencies and state departments as they do at the beginning of the legislature every year.
In State Affairs this week, we have been reviewing rules governing

* Electronic Lottery Games

* Medical Exams and Fees for the State Athletic Commission

* The Idaho Public Utilities Commission and Landline Phones

* Mixed Martial Arts

* The Interior and Exterior of the Capitol Building
In Transportation this we reviewed rules governing

* Highway Right-of-Way

* Drivers License Point Violation System

* Movement of Disabled Vehicles

* When an Overlegal Permit is Required

* Traffic Control and Devices

* Marking of Hazards to Air Flight

* Specialty License Plate Provisions
The Senate Transportation Committee also held a Joint Meeting with the House Transportation and Defense Committee to hear a presentation from the Idaho Transportation Department. The Presentation gave the Committees an update on projects that ITD is working on to keep Idaho’s infrastructure up to date as well as information about their budget, projects they anticipate in the future, and other information useful to legislators as we discuss transportation issues throughout the session.
In the past, the Joint Finance and Appropriation Committees (JFAC) has held public hearings to allow the public to share their concerns before JFAC set the budget. This year, Idaho’s economy doesn’t show a deficit that would prompt concern for drastic cuts to the budget. For that reason, the combined Committees of the House and Senate Health and Welfare Committees and the House and Senate Education Committees will hold public hearings to hear from the public on Health and Welfare and Education issues specifically. Both Committees ask that you come prepared to testify with a copy of a written statement that may be included in the minutes and that statements are kept to three minutes to allow as many people as possible time to testify.
* The House and Senate Joint Health and Welfare Committees will meet to hear public testimony on February 8, from 8-10am in the Senate Auditorium, Room WW02, to hear how the Health and Welfare practices in Idaho affect Idaho’s citizens and how those can be improved.
* The House and Senate Joint Education Committees will meet February 1, from 8-10:30am in the Senate Auditorium, Room WW02, to hear from the public how our education system can be improved. I have begun to receive a number of e-mails from my neighbors and fellow Idahoans regarding support for Second Amendment Rights, school safety issues, the upcoming Healthcare Exchange debate and Governor Otter’s proposal to eliminate the personal property tax. I hope you will continue to keep me updated on how you feel about issues under review during the legislative session. Please feel free to call my office to leave comments at 208-332-1307, e-mail me at CWinder@Senate.Idaho.Gov<mailto:CWinder@Senate.Idaho.Gov..> or visit my website at www.ChuckWinder.com<www.ChuckWinder.com>. You’ll also find me on Facebook. Additionally, I wish you all a very warm weekend as the winter weather continues. Hopefully our weather will be improving soon.
Senator Chuck Winder
Assistant Majority Leader
Idaho State Senate