February 8, 2013
The big news this week comes out of the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee on Thursday when, after two days of testimony on S1040, Governor Otter’s bill to implement a State Health Insurance Exchange, the Committee voted to send the bill to the floor with a Do-Pass Recommendation. Only one Committee member, Senator Brandon Durst, D- District 18, voted against the bill. In the Senate Transportation Committee this week we discussed many interesting pieces of legislation including:
* S 1043 – A bill to honor Idaho Veterans by formally recognizing their service on their state drivers’ license or identification card. This bill will now go to the Senate for full approval.
* S 1045 – A bill 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. This bill will also now go to the Senate for full approval
* S 1044 – Amends Idaho Code to update the definition of "motorbike" to keep up with changing technologies. Having passed the Senate Transportation Committee, this bill will now be sent to the full Senate for passage.
* S1067 – A bill, which I sponsored, that establishes restrictions in gathering evidence or other information through the use of a drone or other unmanned aircraft. This bill will come back to the Senate Transportation Committee for a hearing on the bill.
* S 1064, S 1066, SCR 111 – All relating to trucks that may carry a load up to 129,00 lbs. This would increase the weight from the former limit of 105,500 lbs. and be more similar to the weight restrictions of surrounding states. This pilot program was completed last summer and the report is available through the Idaho Transportation Department. The Committee voted to print these bills and have them to return to the Committee for a public hearing. In the Senate State Affairs Committee this week we reviewed

* S 1025 – A bill that would increase the maximum size of a wine container that may be sold in Idaho from one gallon to fifteen gallons without approval from Idaho State Police. Primarily, larger containers of wine, usually five or seven gallons, would be distributed to restaurants and caterers. This bill passed the Senate State Affairs Committee and was sent to the Senate Floor with a do-pass recommendation.
* HCR 4 – A Concurrent Resolution commending Idaho native Kristin Armstrong for her accomplishments at the 2012 Summer Olympics and for her superior attitude, work ethic, focus and exemplary conduct. This resolution also passed the Senate State Affairs Committee and was sent to the Senate Floor with a do-pass recommendation.
* SCR 112 – This Concurrent Resolution which I sponsored seeks to oppose the legislation of marijuana for any purpose in the State of Idaho. This legislation was printed Thursday and will have an official hearing in the near future.
* SJM 101 – This Joint Memorial would send a Resolution to the US President, Director of the US Department of Justice and the US Congress seeking to notify that the Idaho State Legislature resolves that the federal drug-free policy be upheld in all states. This legislation was also printed Thursday and will have an official hearing in the near future as well. Other events that took place this week include the Joint Senate and House Health and Welfare Committee Hearings to hear from Idahoans regarding how Health and Welfare programs in Idaho affect them and how those programs may be improved. I am pleased that many people came to testify, giving the Health and Welfare Committees valuable information as they make decisions regarding the health and welfare of Idaho’s citizens throughout the 2013 Legislative Session. I am also pleased to report that the Joint Education Committees will hold an "after hours" Committee Hearing to allow teachers, students and other stakeholders who were likely occupied with educational duties during the previous hearing – which took place during school hours – an opportunity to express their concerns and ideas for education at a time that is convenient for them. This hearing will take place in the Senate Auditorium at the Capitol Building on Tuesday February 11th from 4-6 pm. I encourage all stakeholders and public with concerns about the state of education in Idaho will attend. I continue to receive many e-mails regarding a variety of issues that are being reviewed here at the legislature. I appreciate knowing how you feel about these important pieces of legislation and take each e-mail, phone call and letter seriously. I hope you will continue to make me aware of how you feel about proposed legislation as new issues arise. 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. Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Senator Chuck Winder
Assistant Majority Leader