BOISE, Idaho — The Latest on the Idaho Statehouse nearing adjournment (all times local):
The Idaho Legislature finished the majority of its work for the 2018 legislative session on Thursday.
The Senate and House sent the few remaining bills to the governor’s desk for review. Now lawmakers will wait for five days to see if Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter vetoes any of their proposals.
While legislators didn’t pass legislation addressing the thousands of Idahoans without health coverage, they did pass a $225 million tax cut plan that reduces personal and corporate income tax rates, as well as includes a $205 Idaho child tax credit.
State budget writers agreed earlier this year to boost public school funding by 5.9 percent. In total, the schools budget is roughly $1.8 billion with the combination of state and federal funds.
Idaho lawmakers inched closer to adjourning for the year with House members concluding their work Thursday afternoon as Senate lawmakers were on track to finish soon after.
In previous years, Idaho lawmakers could leave once they were done passing legislation. However, a recent Idaho Supreme Court ruling changed that procedure. Instead, lawmakers will be sticking around for another five days to see if Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter vetoes any of the bills sent to his desk.
As of Thursday, the 2018 session has lasted just 74 days. Idaho’s Legislature tends to run short in election years so lawmakers can leave to campaign. All 105 state lawmakers are up for re-election this year.
Idaho’s House has spiked a last chance effort to provide family planning services to low-income women as the Republican-dominant Statehouse prepares to adjourn.
House members rejected the motion to debate the legislation on Thursday. The move came just a day after the same chamber halted a separate health care proposal designed to address the state’s uninsured population.
House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding of Boise, who made the motion, says lawmakers should not sidestep debating health care policy before adjourning for the year.
According to Erpelding’s measure, Idaho would have pursued a federal permission — known as a waiver — to expand family planning services to women ages 19-44 who currently do not qualify for Medicare, Medicaid or other health care assistance programs.
The so-called Plan First Idaho was expected to apply to 15,000 women.