LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS
- Health exchange: The Senate voted 23-12 to back Gov. Butch Otter's state-based exchange proposal. Almost all of the legislators who debated said they don't support the Affordable Care Act, but proponents said creating a state-based exchange allows the state, instead of the federal government, to make decisions in Idaho.
- Anti-marijuana: The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to send two anti-marijuana measures to the full Senate. The first, a resolution, states that legalizing marijuana would have negative consequences on public health and safety. The second, a joint memorial, notifies the U.S. Department of Justice and the Congress of the Legislature's opposition to pot legalization.
- Wilderness trails: The House Resources Committee endorsed a nonbinding resolution to declare the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness a disaster area to recognize damage to trails from wildfires, weather and neglect.
- Concealed weapons: Legislation was introduced to create a new enhancement for licenses, a move that would allow them to be recognized in more than 30 other states.
- Initiatives and referendums: State and House Democrats said they oppose a bill to make it more difficult for an initiative or referendum measure to qualify for the Idaho ballot.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK
- Budgets: Members of the Joint-Finance Appropriations Committee will continue setting budgets by evaluating the Department of Health and Welfare, the State Board of Education, the Office of the Governor and the Department of Corrections. On Monday, members of the Senate are expected to vote on the two anti-marijuana measures.
Christina Lords, Post Register