Rush to the exits
March 29, 2017
By Idaho Representative Heather Scott
As the tentative March 24th session deadline
drew closer, there was an urgency to “get done
and go home.” This reckless pace of Pelosi-style
“pass-it-to-find-out what’s-in-it” style of
legislating is counter productive to what Idaho
really needs and justification for a major
overhaul of the committee system.
Idahoans deserve quality legislation. Because of
this, a group of liberty legislators took the
initiative to actually have a few bills read out
loud for the entire House. This helped
legislators understand the bills and slow the
pace down to a more manageable level.
These readings caused quite the stir in the
orchestrated circus process that has become the
norm for the last few weeks and hours of
Legislators are elected to review, debate and
make sure they understand the bills before the
final vote, not act like they are in a
legislative sprint to the finish.
When lunch breaks and spring break vacations
become more important than the impact of the
laws we pass and their ultimate effects on the
lives of Idahoans, we have lost our way.
Too many times on the House floor I heard the
phrase "we want to get out of here by Friday."
To pass legislation in this fashion is reckless
and will most certainly have negative
consequences for hard working Idaho families,
their dollars and freedoms.
A few examples of fast tracked bills during the
2017 session that troubled some legislators
* A 42-page bill about new oil and gas laws was significantly changed and
only made available to the public a few minutes
before we actually voted on it. It passed with
flying colors even though the public and
affected property owners had little time to
review and give input after six new amendments
were added last minute.
* A 20-page wage garnishment bill, a bill regarding lewd conduct and
alcohol sales, grocery tax elimination bill,
income tax bill, an unemployment insurance bill,
and three bills concerning contested elections.
This list doesn’t even include the emergency
road repairs and general transportation bills
that were presented and voted on the same day.
* And let’s not forget 2015’s massive transportation bill with a huge tax
increase on gasoline and a doubling of citizen’s
registration fees. It was held until 1AM in the
morning to be voted on!
These bills, like all bills, deserve full
consideration and legislators should be able to
vote on them after thorough review; not screamed
at or brow beaten for actually wanting to follow
the constitution and have the bill read out loud
prior to voting on it.
Behind the scenes scheming and shenanigans by
leadership often stops the process or
circumvents normal procedure. Many times our
legislators don't even know what is going on
until the vote is over.
Above is a photo of yesterday's vote count on a
transportation bill passing the buck to future
generations. Idaho legislators decided it was
more important to spend the $140 million surplus
of your tax money on new programs and expansion
of agencies' staff and budgets instead of the
It was easier to borrow an additional $300
million from the federal government (with
strings attached) and pass that buck down the
road to future generations.
There was great testimony on the House floor to
expose exactly what this bill will do and it can
be viewed by
Questions or comments about this
Click here to e-mail!