Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Had my first bills of the 2013 session printed today: S1043, Optional Veteran designation on our Idaho Drivers Lic., S1044, Redefine Motorcycles to allow the use of outrigger wheels, and S1045, Redefining a Veteran for the State's hiring practices. Have a few more in the hopper, more on those later. All the bills now printed can be found at the Idaho Legislative website's Bill Center:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"I do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States..."

As a retired Navy Mustang and now in my 4th Legislative term, I've taken and had the opportunity to administer this oath many times in my life. Every time I do, I think how powerful a statement that it really is. Supporting and defending our Constitution has never meant to me "yeah, but only the parts I like", it's been all or nothing... I've alway felt a sense of pride and purpose after the oath because this document has, since 1776, reflected what America is about.. it's our spirit, our grit, our civility and our sense of equality. It represents our path to the freedoms we enjoy.

It concerns and saddens me when I see or hear someone making laws or creating Executive Orders that are outside the framework of this document of freedom, it's like a kick in the gut to me and I know many that are like me as well. There are those that intentionally push to the limits of that document, I suspect to find those edges of what's acceptable and what's not, it bothers me when it appears our leaders wantonly ignore it. Don't they realize how many have laterally shed blood, given their lives or lost everything they ever worked for to protect our process of law?

Many reading this are likely to think that I'm talking about our President and his Executive Orders or appointments by-passing the congressional process as outlined in this glorious document. Although an excellent example of what seems to be broken in Washington D.C., that's not what I'm commenting on here. I have been concerned about people that are adamant that we need to just stand up for our 10th Amendment rights as a State to bypass "Obamacare". That we need to just ignore the law and decision of the Supreme Court (because few of us in Idaho agreed with that decision) and do our own thing because we have the right to do so under the 10th Amendment.

Now don't get me wrong, as I've stated before, I have sworn to that oath to "support and defend" many times. I, along with millions of US Citizens including many of you, have taken that oath and we do that for the ENTIRE Constitution, not just for the parts we like. Many seem to forget that Article III, Section 1 defines the third branch of government, OUR Supreme Court, and it's powers are defined in Section 2. Ignoring the decisions of that third branch of government, as much as we don't like it, would make us as guilty as those that have been found to have mis-used their powers before outside of our Constitution... I will not be placed in the same class of "leader" who seems to have no respect for this document that has so well outlined a civil process for the freedoms that we can enjoy. I will not ignore ANY article or section of the document I have dedicated much of my life sworn to "support and defend" and it would surprise me if many would.

I was very proud to be on the House floor when we voted to make Idaho the 1st State in our great nation to stand up to and sue the Federal government for what we believed was an over reach of their Congressional and Executive powers. We stood beside 26 other states and fought that battle to the Supreme Court. The decision from the Supreme Court was not just that Obamacare was a legal law, but it affirmed that the Citizens of these United States had elected the officials that made it law and clearly indicated "you got what you voted for"...

Ignoring this decision, or ignoring Article III of our Constitution isn't the way to fix the healthcare mess we are in, the true fix is to elect leaders who recognize individual and States rights and who are willing to create the laws that are respectful of those rights outlined in the document of freedom we all hold so dearly.

I have learned the hard way that making laws that fit within our State's Constitution, the US Constitution, US law and the decisions of the Supreme Courts (State and Federal) is not an easy task. It takes a great deal of time to implement, create or fix laws that will squeeze neatly within the boundaries established by the decisions of our forefathers. Patience, for those that know me well, was never one of my strong points... but I've had to learn that it takes a great deal patience to chart the correct path remaining within the boundaries of those decisions and laws that are a result of the process outlined our Constitution.

Ignoring ANY part of our State or Federal Constitution, our laws or decisions created through the process outlined by our Constitutions, reduces us to the same level of those we now despise for ignoring those Articles or Amendments that we hold so dearly... are you really willing to go there?

I'm not, I've taken that oath too many times, it's a part of me now...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Started early on Kevin Miller's radio show discussing Idaho's current gun laws and Constitution forbidding registration of firearms or ammunition and discussed behavioral health needs as a priority fix. Lunch with the State's FFA students, what a great program!.. then more rules in Jud/Rules and Health and Welfare. Frustrating that some don't understand that more rules impact economic growth and personal freedoms... We must remove barriers, not add them! Tomorrow I will stand before the Transportation Committee and ask to print 2 veteran bills and one Motorcycle bill... things are heating up!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Had some very good meetings today from Intern scholarships, school safety, motorcycle bills and even saw a very cool telepresence device allowing us to provide a virtual tour to students and others of our Capital in real time! I will post a picture of Pro-tem Senator Brent Hill being the first to connect with high schools in his district.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Continuing to review rules developed from the code changes we made last year in H&W. Had the first joint meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary and Rules Committees where we went through a scenario from the time someone commits a crime to when they are released from prison. We had Prosecutors, Sheriffs, Judges, Defense Attorneys, Prisons and Parole all there discussing the process. Very interesting for those of us that have not been there. Finished the day discussing biologic drugs and how they are managed in the State and changes to that management for patient safety... home now and thinking of my friend John and his family's tragic loss.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Continuing Rules review in all committees while working on bills, constituent meetings and media interviews about what we are up to... whew!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

We have some very good 2nd Amendment protections in Idaho, from our Constitution (Article 1, Section 11) to the 2010 Firearms Freedom Act. Idaho has a fair CWP process where our local County Sheriffs are the top authority for permitting those vetted and trained. All of us walk among armed citizens in Idaho daily without issue, our process is working but can be made better. Who might be carrying a concealed weapon is a major deterrent to bad guys as a key unknown factor when considering where they might want to do harm... it's all about proper deterrent, not pulling a trigger, to stop bad things from happening before they are even considered.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 10 of the Idaho Legislature and people are starting to settle in to focus on the "big issues". Everyone is working on reviewing rules written from last years statute changes as well as drafting and redrafting potential bills for those "big issue" solutions. We've printed bills to remove a lot of outdated state code and bills to focus on Behavioral Health at a more local level. I had some good discussions this morning at our 7 am meeting in Eagle reviewing many of the issues we are dealing with here at the Capital and hearing of the work being done at the local level to solve problems there. It's good to see so many people working together for the public good.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Proud that the Senate H&W Committee today printed a bill that will increase the reach of Behavioral Health outreach and support into our local communities. It won't be easy to find and help those that need more support, but focusing on mental health at the local level is what's needed to attend to some major issues facing our nation today... as some well respected friends say, "The only easy day was yesterday"...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Never an unused minute at the Capital. Please rest assured we have many efforts ongoing regarding the potential 2nd Amendment infringement... please be patient with the Idaho Legislature, we can't act without knowing exactly what is being planned in DC... We already have many protections from previous bills that we have passed and our Constitution, Article 1, Section 11... please "standby to standby" and we will fix any loopholes we need to.

Printed many bills today, one of interest to many is a change in motorcycle registrations. The bill intends to change the cycle from annually (Jan - Dec) to rolling dates like cars and trucks. I talked to quite a number of folks this summer that suggested that and the Department agreed and brought the bill.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spent a few hours reviewing rules for DEQ and had a good meeting with 2 young ladies from Rocky Mountain HS regarding heart health, school fitness and underaged smoking issues. They were well informed and communicated their concerns well and effectively... it's always a pleasure working with well informed youth!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Funny, I said the same things Adm Lyons is now saying after this mess started... Could a bad cover story have gone worse? By the way, I wrote my comments about a snatch and grab gone bad on a military FB page I belong to and... hhhmmm, it's gone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

An interesting read from Russia's Pravda to Americans... Maybe sage advice from someone who's walked a trail it appears we are embarking on:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Enlightening conversations today with Sen. Brackett and Martin, I'm lucky to work with such experienced and good hearted individuals...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Getting draft bills done for roads, security and employment... once I get shopped around for support, will get them in the hopper!

This is a good, quick summary of the Governor's State of the State and budget summary... thoughts?

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Idaho Legislature is now in session....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Idaho Legislative session starts tomorrow at noon, MST with the Governor's State of the State. Our primary focus is setting the budget while reviewing rules created from last session's laws enacted and updating current laws on the books. Removing those un-needed laws and finding ways to streamline regulations impacting our economy and citizens. You can watch online or listen to committee meetings all session long;

Friday, January 4, 2013

Some great meetings today, started at 7 am in Eagle and ended with my friends from the House at 7:30 pm... looking forward to the session!