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Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

Senate Introduces Major Transportation Funding Bills

Posted By Justin Ruen, Friday, March 10, 2017
Today the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee voted to introduce two major transportation funding bills sponsored by Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Three Creek, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.  Betsy Russell's Eye on Boise blog has a helpful report summarizing the bills, which will be up for hearing in the Senate Transportation Committee next week.   

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City Officials Asked to Contact Senate Committee to Support Bill Updating City Treasurer Laws

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, March 7, 2017

On Wednesday, March 8 the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee will consider AIC-supported legislation that modernizes provisions of state law concerning the responsibilities of the city treasurer. 

We ask city officials to contact members of the committee (listed below) to respectfully ask for their support of House Bill 130.

Idaho Code 50-208 currently requires the city treasurer to make a monthly report to the city council, under oath, showing the state of the treasury, as well as a statement of all receipts and disbursements, and all warrants redeemed and paid.  If the treasurer fails to make this report within 10 days of the end of the month, then the city treasurer position is vacated.  This code section was originally adopted in the 1920s and has not been updated in a meaningful way since that time.

House Bill 130 will give the treasurer 60 days after the end of the month to make the report, and it will no longer be required to be a sworn statement.  The bill clarifies that the quarterly treasurer’s report must be delivered at a city council meeting not more than 30 days after the end of each quarter. 

The bill also provides that provisions of the Public Depository Law requiring a Treasurer’s Monthly Report only apply if there is not another code section that requires a treasurer’s report for the political subdivision (cities already have such a requirement, so it would not apply to cities). 

House Bill 130 will modernize archaic provisions of law relating to the responsibilities of the city treasurer and we are pleased to work with Rep. Luke Malek and Rep. Paul Amador of Coeur d’Alene on this important bill. 

We ask city officials to contact members of the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee and respectfully ask for their support of House Bill 130.  The committee members and their emails are listed below.

Sen. Dan G. Johnson, Lewiston, Chair:   djohnson@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Clifford R. Bayer, Meridian, Vice Chair:   cbayer@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Brent Hill, Rexburg:   bhill@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jeff C. Siddoway, Terreton:  jsiddoway@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim Rice, Caldwell:  jrice@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Steve Vick, Dalton Gardens:  sjvick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim L. Patrick, Twin Falls:  jpatrick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Grant Burgoyne, Boise:   gburgoyne@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Mark Nye, Pocatello:  mnye@senate.idaho.gov

 

 

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City Officials Asked to Contact Legislators to Support Emergency Transportation Funding Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Last Wednesday, the legislative budget committee unanimously approved a proposal for the state to provide $52 million in emergency funding for road and bridge projects to help state and local governments impacted by severe winter weather and flooding.

We ask city officials to contact their local legislators and respectfully ask for their support of Senate Bill 1141.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee held a special hearing where Brigadier Gen. Brad Richy, Director of the state Office of Emergency Management, described the damage and showed the committee pictures to confirm the damage assessment to roads and bridges in the Magic Valley.

“The amazing devastation that’s happening in this area is just incredible,” Richy said.  “It’s hard to imagine until you actually have the opportunity to see it from the air, to look down at some of these roads and the damage that’s happened to the infrastructure.”

Richy estimated the cost of flooding damage in the Magic Valley alone was at $17 million.

“There is no way of knowing what the actual cost will be until this whole thing is over with.  We anticipate that we’ll request another presidential declaration for this winter flood.” 

“We are far in excess of normal snowpack in Southern Idaho.  As temperatures begin to rise over the next 10 days, I would anticipate the snow line will continue to rise.  And some areas that haven’t experienced flooding will experience flooding.” 

Richy noted that 250 buildings have collapsed in southern Idaho and $100 million in damage was suffered by onion farmers due to storage sheds and other buildings collapsing under heavy snow load.  The city of Weiser lost a fire station and a grocery store.

Senate Bill 1141 would provide $52 million in grant funding for state and local road and bridge projects in counties that are under a Governor’s disaster declaration.  To date the Governor has declared a state disaster covering Cassia, Franklin, Gooding, Jefferson, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington Counties for flooding. 

Federal disaster declarations have been requested.  Repair projects that qualify for funding by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would be covered 75% by federal funding, 15% will be covered by the state’s appropriated emergency funds, and there would be a 10% local match.  Volunteer hours and other in-kind contributions can count toward the local match.  For projects that don’t qualify for FEMA aid, the state would use the appropriated emergency funds to cover 90% of the costs, with a 10% local match. 

The projects will be selected by a Recovery Review Panel comprised of a representative each from the Idaho Transportation Department, Local Highway Technical Assistance Council, Idaho Association of Counties, Association of Idaho Cities, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, and the Governor’s office.  The Deputy Chief of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management in the Military Division will be a member and chair the panel. 

Senate Bill 1141 is the most important bill of the legislative session from the perspective of local governments and we ask city officials to contact their local legislators and respectfully ask for their support of this important bill.   

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New Budget & Election Calendars Available

Posted By Justin Ruen, Monday, March 6, 2017

The newly updated calendars for this year's city elections and the FY 2018 budget process are now available.  The links to PDF and Word versions are at the very bottom of this blog post.

We appreciate everyone's interest in getting the budget and election manuals as quickly as possible, but we have to wait until the legislative session is completed to get these manuals finalized.  

We hope to have the budget manual available in April and the election and campaign finance manuals a couple weeks after that.  

We try to get these manuals out as soon as possible and appreciate your patience!

 

 Attached Files:

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City Officials Urged to Contact Legislators to Support Justice Reinvestment Reform Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On Monday, the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee voted to approve AIC-supported legislation aimed at strengthening Idaho’s Justice Reinvestment laws. 

City officials are urged to contact their local legislators and respectfully ask for their support of Senate Bill 1113, which will be up for floor debate and vote in the Senate later this week. 

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) was a data-driven approach aimed at addressing Idaho’s relatively high rates of incarceration for nonviolent crimes and rapidly burgeoning prison population. 

The reforms, which were passed by the Legislature in 2014, included moving nonviolent offenders out of prison and into community-based supervision programs that incorporated better substance abuse and mental health assessments and treatment. 

By reducing the number of nonviolent offenders in prison, Idaho would have a more sustainable corrections system without building new prisons.  Investments in strengthening probation and parole would help ensure that the program was effective in reducing recidivism.

While Justice Reinvestment has successfully reduced prison costs, there have been unintended consequences including a very concerning increase in violent crimes committed by parolees who remain on parole despite drug or other violations. 

A tragic example involves Marco Romero who was on parole after serving time for two charges of possession of a controlled substance and one charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury or death.  He had several prior convictions for drug charges. 

Last November, Romero opened fire inside a Meridian apartment filled with his family and friends, shooting a man and a woman.  He carjacked an 89-year old woman two days later, and police tracked him to the Central Rim neighborhood, where he was killed in a gun battle after tragically shooting two police officers and a K-9.  The officers survived, but the K-9 died.

Romero remained on parole after testing positive for methamphetamine, which is considered a technical parole violation. 

Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, Chair of the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee and Rep. Lynn Luker, Chair of the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee worked together over the interim on legislation to strengthen the Justice Reinvestment laws.

The hearing before the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee was packed with law enforcement officers in uniform and the bill was strongly supported by the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, Idaho Sheriffs Association and Fraternal Order of Police. 

Sen. Lodge said in her opening statement that the bill was dedicated to Cpl. Chris Davis and Cpl. Kevin Holtry of the Boise Police Department, the officers who were shot by Marco Romero.

“I want to dedicate this legislation to these heroes who have suffered injuries to protect the citizens of Idaho.  Thank you so much for the outstanding work you do,” Lodge said.

Lodge noted that the changes proposed by Senate Bill 1113 will “increase public safety and strengthen accountability for offenders.” 

The bill would add two commissioners to the Idaho Commission of Pardons & Parole and allow two commissioners to meet and decide parole violations; these changes should help expedite decisions on parole violations. 

The bill also provides that the swift, certain and graduated sanctions for parole violators may be used by parole officers without having a hearing.  Such sanctions could include: community service, increased reporting, curfews, substance use assessments, monitoring or treatment, cognitive behavioral treatment, and educational or vocational skills education, among others. 

The state’s policy “to focus prison space on those who commit the most serious offenses or who have the highest likelihood of offending in the future” is clearly articulated in the legislation. 

The bill also provides the parole commission with complete discretion to decide individual cases, considering the current risk assessment, criminal history, program participation, compliance and completion, institutional misconduct and other individual characteristics related to the likelihood of the person to reoffend in the future when making parole decisions. 

The bill eliminates the current 90 and 180-day incarceration framework for first and second parole violations and allows the commission to impose sanctions at any time up to and including revocation of parole and returning the offender to state custody.

AIC Legislative Chair Mayor John Evans of Garden City provided outstanding testimony in support of the bill. 

“We had five officer involved shootings involving parolees in Ada County in one year.  We had a gun fight at our police station and I had Garden City, Boise City and Ada County law enforcement officers defending themselves against a person who shouldn’t have been let out of jail.  That kind of thing hits very close to home.”   

“We are very concerned about the safety of our law enforcement officers and our community,” Evans said.

The committee members voted to send Senate Bill 1113 to the floor with a do-pass recommendation.  The bill will likely come up for floor debate and vote later this week.

We ask city officials to contact their local legislators and respectfully ask that they support Senate Bill 1113. 

 

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Bill on Local Option Building Code Exemption for Owner-Builders Fails to Clear Senate Committee

Posted By Justin Ruen, Thursday, February 23, 2017

A bill that would have provided cities and counties authority to have local option exemptions from building codes for owner-builders of homes failed to pass out of the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee Thursday. 

Senate Bill 1067 was held at the call of the chair, which technically means it could be revived at some future point this session, but that appears extremely unlikely.

The bill was sponsored by Kootenai County Commissioner Marc Eberlein and faced stiff opposition from AIC, the Idaho Building Code Board, the Idaho Association of Building Officials, the Idaho Fire Chiefs Association, the Idaho Building Contractors Association, the Idaho Association of Realtors, and the Idaho Bankers Association.

Excellent testimony was provided at the hearing by AIC Legislative Chair John Evans, Mayor of Garden City, and Patrick Sullivan, Director of Building Safety for the City of Nampa.

“I’m a residential real estate developer who has been in the industry since 1975,” said Mayor Evans.  “If the city or county has building codes, then the purchaser of a home should be able to assume that a home was built to the code.”

Patrick Sullivan explained described how the City of Nampa works with owner-builders to make the process as straightforward as possible while still ensuring a well-built final product. 

“We work with owner-builders who want to build their own home in Nampa and we try very hard to help these people through the plan review process and inspections to ensure that the building is safe and that there are not problems for future owners down the road,” he said.    

We greatly appreciate the efforts of city officials who communicated with legislators on Senate Bill 1067.

 

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City Officials asked to Contact Senate Local Govt. & Tax Committee to Oppose SB 1067 on Building Code Exemptions for Owner-Builders

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On Thursday, February 23 at 3:00 p.m., the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee will consider legislation to provide a local option exemption for owner-builders from the building code.

AIC opposes Senate Bill 1067 and asks city officials to contact members of the committee to respectfully ask for their opposition to the bill.  The committee members and their email addresses are listed at the bottom of this document.

The purpose of the Idaho Building Code Act is to “…(p)romote the health, safety and welfare of the occupants or users of buildings and structures…” AIC believes that Senate Bill 1067 is inconsistent with this policy and poses serious risks for home buyers, communities and emergency response personnel.    

Exempting owner-builders from building code compliance will negatively impact our communities in several ways:

1.       Creates an Unlevel Playing Field: Under Senate Bill 1067, licensed professional building contractors would still be required to comply with the Building Code, but owner-builders with no demonstrated knowledge of sound building practices would be exempt.  This undermines the foundation of Idaho’s Building Code Act. 

2.       Undermines Building Code Compliance: Under Senate Bill 1067 there is no way to ensure that owner-builders are complying with the Building Code. 

3.       Increased Risk for Home Buyers: Disclosure of work done by owner-builders will be difficult to enforce, which means home buyers could unknowingly be put at risk for substandard work that fails to meet Building Code standards. 

4.       Increased Risk for the Community: Part of the role Building Codes play is to protect communities against risk of fire and to ensure that emergency responders can safely access buildings.  By undermining compliance with the Building Code, Senate Bill 1067 puts communities and first responders at greater risk.

5.       Undermines Uniformity in Application of Building Codes: Idaho’s Building Code Act provides cities and counties the authority to decide whether building codes will be adopted and enforced in a particular jurisdiction.  If a city or county decides to adopt and enforce building codes, then it is important for those codes to apply in a fair and uniform way. 

We ask city officials to contact members of the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee and respectfully ask that they hold Senate Bill 1067 in committee.  The committee members and their emails are listed below.

Sen. Dan G. Johnson, Lewiston, Chair:   djohnson@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Clifford R. Bayer, Meridian, Vice Chair:   cbayer@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Brent Hill, Rexburg:   bhill@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jeff C. Siddoway, Terreton:  jsiddoway@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim Rice, Caldwell:  jrice@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Steve Vick, Dalton Gardens:  sjvick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim L. Patrick, Twin Falls:  jpatrick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Grant Burgoyne, Boise:   gburgoyne@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Mark Nye, Pocatello:  mnye@senate.idaho.gov

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City Officials Asked to Contact Legislators to Support HB 130 on Treasurer's Responsibilities

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, is sponsoring AIC-supported legislation to modernize provisions of state law concerning the responsibilities of the city treasurer.  We ask city officials to contact their local legislators to respectfully ask for their support of House Bill 130.  The bill will be up for hearing Wednesday in the House Local Government Committee.

Idaho Code 50-208 currently requires the city treasurer to make a monthly report to the city council, under oath, showing the state of the treasury, as well as a statement of all receipts and disbursements, and all warrants redeemed and paid.  If the treasurer fails to make this report within 10 days of the end of the month, then the city treasurer position is vacated.  This code section was originally adopted in the 1920s and has not been updated in a meaningful way since that time.

House Bill 130 will give the treasurer 60 days after the end of the month to make the report, and it will no longer be required to be a sworn statement.  The bill clarifies that there is a more detailed quarterly treasurer’s report delivered at a city council meeting that must happen not more than 30 days after the end of each quarter. 

The bill also provides that provisions of the Public Depository Law requiring a Treasurer’s Monthly Report only apply if there is not another code section that requires a treasurer’s report for the political subdivision (cities already have such a requirement, so it would not apply to cities). 

House Bill 130 will modernize archaic provisions of law relating to the responsibilities of the city treasurer and we are pleased to work with Rep. Malek on this important bill.  We ask city officials to contact their local legislators and respectfully ask for their support of House Bill 130.

 

 

 

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City Officials Urged to Contact Senate Commerce Committee to Support Procurement Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Wednesday, February 15, 2017

On Thursday, February 16 at 1:30 p.m., the Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee will consider AIC-supported legislation to strengthen local government procurement laws.

Senate Bill 1074, sponsored by Sen. Lori Den Hartog of Meridian, would make several important updates to local government procurement laws, including:

·         Clarifying that payment and performance bonds are required for public works construction contracts equal to or greater than $50,000;

·         Clarifying exemptions from competitive purchasing for public utilities, purchasing used equipment at auction, repair of heavy equipment, and procurement of software maintenance and support for an existing system or platform;

·         Updating procurement thresholds; and

·         Providing a Request for Proposals process for situations where a problem can be fixed by several potential approaches or to encourage innovative approaches to solving problems. 

Senate Bill 1074 was developed based on input from several stakeholder groups, including the Idaho Public Purchasing Association, Association of Idaho Cities, Idaho Association of Counties, Idaho Association of Highway Districts, Idaho Associated General Contractors, and American Council of Engineering Companies of Idaho.

We strongly urge city officials to contact members of the Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee as soon as possible and respectfully ask for their support of Senate Bill 1074.  The committee members are listed below.

Sen. Jim L. Patrick, Twin Falls, Chair:   jpatrick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim Guthrie, Inkom, Vice Chair:   jguthrie@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Fred S. Martin, Boise:  fmartin@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Todd M. Lakey, Nampa:   tlakey@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Steven P. Thayn, Emmett:   sthayn@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Mary Souza, Coeur d’Alene:   msouza@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Kelly Arthur Anthon, Burley:  kanthon@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking, Boise:   jwardengelking@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Grant Burgoyne, Boise:  gburgoyne@senate.idaho.gov

 

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Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee to Consider New Construction Roll Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On Wednesday, February 15 at 3:00 p.m. the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee will consider legislation that would impact the new construction roll for property tax levying purposes.  Cities that want to weigh in with comments or feedback should contact the committee members as soon as possible (see committee list below).

House Bill 83 is sponsored by Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls.  The bill would provide that any reduction in taxable market value resulting from property that becomes exempt pursuant to chapters 6 and 45 of title 63, Idaho Code, in the five years immediately preceding the current tax year will be deducted from the new construction roll.  Properties that become exempt under the following Idaho Code sections would not be required to be deducted from the new construction roll: 63-602G (Homeowner’s Exemption), 63-602L (intangible personal property), 63-602W(2)(certain business inventory), 63-602X (Casualty Loss), 63-602AA (exceptional situations) and 63-602KK (business personal property).  The bill would also require local governments to deduct from their property tax budget an amount equal to the levy of the previous year multiplied by the value deducted from the new construction roll for each of the three tax years preceding the current tax year.

Any cities that believe House Bill 83 would have a meaningful impact on their budget should communicate their thoughts or concerns to the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee.  The committee members are listed below.

Sen. Dan G. Johnson, Lewiston, Chair:   djohnson@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Clifford R. Bayer, Meridian, Vice Chair:   cbayer@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Brent Hill, Rexburg:   bhill@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jeff C. Siddoway, Terreton:  jsiddoway@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim Rice, Caldwell:  jrice@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Steve Vick, Dalton Gardens:  sjvick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Jim L. Patrick, Twin Falls:  jpatrick@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Grant Burgoyne, Boise:   gburgoyne@senate.idaho.gov

Sen. Mark Nye, Pocatello:  mnye@senate.idaho.gov

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