Idaho House of Representatives
January 25, 2011
As this legislative session is beginning, I wanted to write and let you know about what I am doing this year.
Committee Assignments. I continue to serve on the Revenue and Taxation Committee; the Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee; and the Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee. I also serve as an ad hoc member of the Natural Resources Interim Committee.
Restoring Trust in State Government. Like you, I value honesty and I expect public officials to put the people they are supposed to serve first. I am partnering with other legislators on bills to establish an independent ethics commission, prohibit state officials from lobbying for a year after leaving government, combating conflicts of interest by requiring disclosure of personal financial information by public officials and adding a whistleblower hotline for state employees to report waste, fraud and abuse. So far the response from members of both parties has been positive. This important ethics reform will begin to restore the people’s faith and confidence in government.
Jobs and the Economy. I recognize that we must grow Idaho business and create good paying jobs. That is why I am partnering with other legislators on the following bills:
· The Idaho Partnership Bank would work with local lenders to increase the availability of affordable small business loans.
· Improve Broadband Speed and Access would more effectively link us to the rest of the world and to each other.
· The Buy Idaho First Contracting Act would leverage the state’s purchasing power to give preference to Idaho goods and services.
· Promote Value Added Business with tax credits so that more of our raw commodities, including agricultural products, are processed in Idaho.
· The Idaho Corporate Accountability and Transparency Act will require public disclosure of jobs tax credit information. Although these tax credits do not cost anything if they don’t create jobs, we owe it to ourselves to know if they are working.
· The Business Relocation and Finder’s Fee Tax Credit will provide tax credits for jobs created when Idaho businesses recruit new businesses to Idaho. This not only creates new jobs, it also reduces costs and increases productivity by assembling an industry’s producers, suppliers and service providers in one area.
· Promote Job Growth at the Boise Airport by making Idaho competitive with states that do not charge sales tax on jet aircraft maintenance and repair work. This bill passed the House last year, but died in the Senate. It’s back this year and may stand a better chance this time.
· Full Funding for Public Schools and Higher Education remains a top priority because an adequately educated and trained workforce is the only way we can grow our economy.
Education. Full funding for public schools and higher education remains a top priority. An adequately educated and trained workforce is the only way we can grow our economy. I support innovation and I remain a strong supporter of our teachers. I am opposed to the Luna laws because they impose unfunded mandates and transfer power to state bureaucrats at the expense of parents and elected school boards.
State Owned Businesses. I have been working with other legislators on a bill to curb state ownership of businesses. State owned businesses compete with other businesses, but do not pay taxes. This gives them an unfair competitive advantage, and it reduces revenues for schools and other important public services. The Natural Resources Interim Committee endorsed our bill with limited changes, and it is now on its way to the House and Senate.
Legislative Information. You can access bills, watch the Legislature live, and obtain contact information for legislators on the Legislature’s website at www.legslature.idaho.gov. Please contact me with any of your legislative concerns or questions.
Very truly yours, Representative Grant Burgoyne