February 1, 2013

This week the 2013 Legislative Session seemed to pick up steam as we dove into some issues which I anticipate will garner a great deal of public interest.
This week the Senate Transportation Committee voted to print several important pieces of legislation which will be heard in the Committee in the coming weeks. Those pieces of legislation include:
* S1050 – a bill to require anyone applying for a wholesale dealer license to complete an ITD-approved 4-hour education program.
* S1052 – a bill to Local authorities may alter or establish certain speed limits, and minimum speed limits may be established.
* Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 103 – a Resolution to Encourage the Idaho Department of Commerce, in collaboration with Idaho’s Universities and Community Colleges and the private sector, to apply to be one of six FAA unmanned aircraft system test sites.
* S1051 – a bill to protect Idaho citizens’ right to privacy from illegal or improper use of a drone or other unmanned aircraft.
* S1044 – a bill to amend Idaho Code to update the definition of "motorbike" to keep up with the changing technologies.
* S1045 – Amends Idaho code to revise the definition of "veteran" to include those who have served in the armed forces, but may not have served in what is considered a war or combat zone as defined by the federal government under US Code.
* S1043 – a bill to honor Idaho veterans by formally recognizing their service on their state drivers license or identification card.
In State Affairs this week we heard several gubernatorial appointments and are looking to have print hearing on some highly anticipated legislation in the near future. Of course, I will keep you updated as that takes place.
The House and Senate Education Committees met jointly to hear public testimony on how education might be improved in Idaho. About 50 people had the opportunity to testify and several other written testimonies will be included in the minutes. Thank you to anyone who came to testify. Your input is helpful as the Legislature looks for ideas on improving the quality of education in Idaho.
As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the House and Senate Health and Welfare Committees will also meet jointly next Friday, February 8, 2013 from 8-10 am to hear how the Health and Welfare practices in Idaho affect Idaho’s citizens and how those can be improved. You may be familiar with the four bills which address various pieces of collective bargaining and teacher contract issues. I want to clarify that the State Association of School Boards brought forth these bills. I’ve received some concern through phone calls and e-mails that the Legislature is attempting to bring forth bills that are similar to the bills voted down in the referendum last November. The School Boards Association represents school districts in Idaho. It is these school districts who have asked the School Boards Association to bring those bills before the legislature. As I stated in my letter last week, I am thankful to each and every one of you who take the time to contact me and give your input on Idaho’s issues. I read every letter that I receive and take the voice of my constituents very seriously. Please continue to make me aware of your thoughts regarding legislation under review. You can contact me via e-mail at CWinder@Senate.Idaho.Gov<mailto:CWinder@Senate.Idaho.Gov..>, by calling my office at 332-1307, by visiting my website at WWW.ChuckWinder.com<WWW.ChuckWinder.com>, and by visiting me on facebook.
Senator Chuck Winder
Assistant Majority Leader