Here we Have Idaho, Jan. 30

What’s happening at the State Legislature this week

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff


Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, introduced a bill Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the Idaho Senate that would create some wolf-free zones in Idaho where hunters would be allowed to kill the predators year round. The bill would also designate “chronic depredation” zones where wolves have caused problems for livestock owners, which would also allow wolves to be killed year round.

“Wolf numbers continue increasing [and] livestock depredation remains at an unacceptably high level,” said Brackett, who is a rancher in south-central Idaho. “More needs to be done. Ranchers’ livelihoods are being threatened by wolves.”

Time Change

The House State Affairs Committee voted to introduce a measure sponsored by Rep. Christy Zito, R-Hammett, to end Idaho’s participation in daylight saving time. Zito claimed the biannual time change was a safety hazard that caused temporary jet lag leading to injuries among motorists and pedestrians, as well as increasing chances of heart attacks and strokes.

A Finnish study cited by concluded that the risk of a stroke goes up 8% in the first two days after the beginning of daylight saving time. However, the same study claimed the risk for heart attacks dropped 21% on the Tuesday after the fall time change.

‘Repeat’ bond issues

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, has sponsored a bill intended to make it harder for school districts and other taxing entities to bring bond issues back to voters after they’ve been rejected. House Bill 347 would institute a waiting period of at least 11 months before previously defeated bond issues could reappear on the ballot. 

According to Boise-based Idaho Ed News, the measure drew opposition from a number of Idaho school superintendents, whose districts in the past have returned to voters several times before successfully passing bonds to pay for school infrastructure and capital improvement projects.

Scott said the legislation protects Idahoans from “aggressive taxing districts,” while state school officials characterized the bill as “a solution in search of a problem.”

The bill cleared the House State Affairs Committee and received its second reading Jan. 29 in the House. Lawmakers may vote on HB 347 before the end of the week.

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