LAST WEEKS HIGHLIGHTS
Health exchange: Gov. Butch Otter proposed legislation to establish a state-based health care exchange. The exchange would be governed by a 16-member board of representatives of consumer interests, producers, employers and health care providers, among others.
Education bills: Legislators began evaluating seven measures. They would limit master agreements to one year; require teachers unions to validate membership; allow districts to change the length of teacher contracts; and allow district employees to appeal a board of trustees decision to district court. Legislation before the House Education Committee would require teacher contract negotiations to be conducted in public. A separate measure would allow school districts to impose contract terms if an agreement isnt reached with local unions by a June 10 deadline.
Hunting, fishing licenses: Idaho Department of Fish and Game called for multiyear sportsmens permits to generate more revenue. The proposal was approved by the Senate Resources and Environment Committee.
Personal property tax: Alan Dornfest, property tax policy supervisor for the Idaho State Tax Commission, reviewed how repealing the tax on business personal property could affect public education funding. The report showed about $38.6 million goes to school districts.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK
JFAC: Members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee will hear budget presentations by the Idaho State Police, Department of Juvenile Corrections and Department of Correction.
Human rights: Boise Democrats Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb and Rep. Grant Burgoyne will host a panel discussion Wednesday on the Idaho Human Rights Act. The move is their first step to introduce legislation to amend the act to include the words sexual orientation and gender identity to the discrimination policy. The discussion will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Capitol Auditorium in Boise.
Listening session: The Senate and House Health and Welfare committees will hold a listening session from 8 to 10 a.m. Friday in the Capitol Auditorium. The public may comment on any health and welfare issue; remarks are limited to three minutes.
Christina Lords, Post Register