“To mourn a mischief that is past and gone,is the next way to draw new mischief on.”
It feels like the session is warming up. Budgets, the real role of government, will be set in a few weeks. Appropriations bills will begin to come forward. In the meantime, there is room formischief and drama.
A few months ago some Occupy Boise protestors put up tents and signs on the grounds of the long-vacant former Ada County Courthouse, just one block east of the Capitol. When I walked by the encampment with fellow legislators I was surprised at the strong negative reaction from many. It didn’t surprise me that this bill [read it here] came from the House in an attempt to kick them off the grounds. I was thankful a Senate committee voted to amend it. We’ll see what happens as the bill changes, and whether the Senate changes will be acceptable to the House. If it resembles ping pong, maybe we will lose the ball.
The Governor proposed funding a technology transfer program called Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) in his State of the State speech. It is quite similar to a proposal the Democrats offered in 2010, which got no hearing then. He suggests the program can help universities transfer innovations to the marketplace. The Governor says the plan is modeled after Utah’s USTAR program, but there are some differences in the details which you can learn more about here.
Idaho has suffered cuts to Higher Education for so many years. I hope our faculty and researchers see this as an opportunity. Governor Otter and University of Idaho President Duane Nellis will make an announcement Monday.
The Idaho Democratic Legislative caucus again proposed bills to promote job growth in Idaho. The package of bills [learn more about themhere] offers appropriate investments and changes in policy to get Idaho back to work. The more time I spend in the legislature the more I see that business doesn’t need tax breaks; they just want a government that is open, predictable, functional and fair. The current culture of Idaho government has lost sight of this.
I will continue to work to represent you. I have heard from many constituents and interested parties about rules and legislation. Please feel free to contact me with concerns or questions. I will be in Moscow next weekend. I hope to see you if you get a chance.