March 15, 2013
Here at the Capitol we are on the home stretch and looking for things to finally start slowing down in Committees here in the next week or two. As the work in Committees slows, the time the Senators spend on the floor debating bills that come from Senate Committees and from the House will pick up in order to finish the session and send many of my colleagues from out of town back to their loving families. The House debated H 248, the bill to establish a state-based health insurance exchange, on Thursday for seven hours. It passed on a 41-29 vote and will now go to the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee. This bill combined components of S 1042, the Governor’s bill for a state-based health insurance exchange, which was previously passed by the Senate, and language for a trailer bill supported by sixteen freshman members of the House. H 248 added legislative oversight in the form of a 19-member panel to be appointed by Governor Otter, with 17 voting members, including three state legislators. This legislation to form a state-based insurance exchange continues to be the subject of contentious debate. As H 248 now comes to the House, should it come out of the Senate Commerce Committee, I will continue to support individual liberty by voting against a state-based health care exchange. The Senate Transportation Committee reviewed several pieces of legislation. We continued discussion from last week on H 41, the bill that clarifies when visually impaired individuals are considered competent to drive a motor vehicle. The Committee sent H 41 to the Senate Floor with a do-pass recommendation and I expect that the Senate will hear that bill sometimes next week. Other bills of interest heard in Committee this week:
* H 217 Specifies that the primary liability in cases of death or damages of drivers of vehicles loaned for temporary use without charge lies with the operator; the vehicle’s owner’s coverage shall be secondary.
* H 170 Allows local highway jurisdictions to perform market value estimates on property subject to eminent domain in the same manner as the Idaho Transportation Department.
* H 216 Exempts facilities used by federal power marketing agencies from the standards for lighting and marking guyed towers above 50 feet. In the Senate State Affairs Committee I had the opportunity to present S 1134, for which I am the sponsor. S 1134 establishes provisions in Idaho Code which would place restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft systems. Other bills of interest reviewed in the Senate State Affairs Committee:
* H 159 Relating to the retail sale of liquor by the drink to authorize the issuance of a state retail liquor license to a federally recognized Indian tribe with certain restrictions.
* HCR 12 – A Concurrent Resolution to commemorate the City of Boise’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary.
* H 220 relating to horse racing to provide for historical horse racing in certain environments and for the distribution of funds.
* H 192 relating to licenses to carry concealed weapons to provide for an enhanced carry concealed weapons license.
* H 223 relating to concealed weapons to clarify the law on concealed carry permits for knives and to allow any lawfully possessed taser, stun gun or pepper spray. This morning the Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 124, honoring five servicemen who fought and lost their lives in Afghanistan within the past year. The Senate Memorialized the five servicemen, taking time to remember them and relate stories of their lives as shared by their families. Many Senators rose to offer their condolences and thank the families for their sacrifices. The Governor addressed the families as well, thanking the families for their sacrifice. A common theme which seemed be echoed several times by Senators rising to speak during at the memorial was, "No greater love has any man that this, that he lay down his life for a friend." I join with my colleagues in this sentiment to memorialize Idaho’s fallen heroes. Those memorialized include

* Daniel J Brown, 27 of Jerome, Twin Falls

* Chris J Workman, 33 of Rupert

* Cody O Moosman, 24 of Preston

* Ethan J Martin, 22 of Moyie Spring, Bonners Ferry

* Shane G Wilson, 20 of Kuna
I want to thank all of you who receive this newsletter and use it to stay up-to-date on the issues in Idaho during the Legislative Session. Again, I hope you will feel free to contact me with any ideas or concerns for legislation being reviewed by the legislature. You can reach me by calling my office, 208-332-1307, by e-mailing me at CWinder@Senate.Idaho.Gov<mailto:CWinder@Senate.Idaho.Gov..>, or visiting my website<>, and by finding me on facebook. Sincerely,
Senator Chuck Winder
Assistant Majority Leader
Idaho State Senate