Long Day At The Idaho House Today

It was horse racing, vehicle emissions and public records in State Affairs Committee this morning. On the House floor we attended to amendments, and then waited – and waited for the Education Committee which was hearing the third education reform bill. I read e-mail and upcoming bills. We finally broke for lunch. This afternoon we heard budget bills, plus had a lively debate on the "pseudo-texting bill" HB 141. Under this strange bill, texting, plus using a cell phone, CB radio, GPS or other "electronic device" (let your imagination be your definition) would be outlawed "if distracting." If you’re guilty it’s an infraction. However, being distracted when eating a hamburger would not be an infraction. Rather, you could only be charged with a more serious misdemeanor inattentive driving. The bill failed on a vote of 21-48, which I helped facilitate with some opposition debate. Judiciary and Rules started late, and we spent almost two hours hearing a proposal to provide supplemental funding for Legal Aid through an increase in civil case filing fees. Idaho is the only state in the union that does not provide some state funding for Legal Aid. The committee voted to send the bill to the amending order for some changes, but the bill remains alive. Now it’s time to prepare for tomorrow.


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