Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Associate Member?
AIC Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
The AIC Blog connects the association staff to our membership, provides informative updates on state and federal policy issues, and spotlights upcoming AIC training, conferences and events.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: City Officials' Day at the Capitol 

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.   

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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:

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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. 

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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.

 

 

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

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

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Contact House Transportation Committee to Support House Bill 158 on Surplus Eliminator Reauthorization

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 14, 2017

One of the most important bills of the session came last week from the House Transportation & Defense Committee, which voted to introduce House Bill 158 on reauthorizing the state surplus eliminator.

We strongly encourage city officials to contact members of the House Transportation & Defense Committee (see list below) to respectfully ask for their support of this critical piece of legislation.  Any specific examples you can share of damage your city suffered from this year’s severe winter weather will make your case even more compelling.

House Bill 158 is sponsored by Rep. Clark Kauffman, R-Filer and Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa.  The bill would extend the state surplus eliminator for two additional years, and provide that the revenue be split 60% to the Idaho Transportation Department and 40% to local highway jurisdictions. 

The state surplus eliminator is set to sunset this year and allocates half of state general fund surplus revenue to transportation projects for the Idaho Transportation Department.  None of the revenue from the surplus eliminator is currently shared with local highway jurisdictions. 

Under House Bill 158, the local highway jurisdictions’ share will be allocated in grants administered by the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council awarded based on return on investment in the following categories:

  • Safety, including reduction of crashes, injuries, and fatalities;
  • Mobility, including traffic-flow improvements for freight and passenger cars;
  • Economic opportunity, including projected cost-benefit ratio for users and businesses;
  • Repair and maintenance of bridges; and
  • Purchase of public rights of way.

House Bill 158 will allow cities, counties and highway districts to have an equitable share of surplus eliminator revenues at a time when local roads and bridges need considerable work because of severe winter storms and flooding. 

The grants awarded under House Bill 158 will fund projects that will save lives, help Idaho businesses, and repair critical bridges in our local highway system.

House Bill 158 addresses state and local transportation funding needs without increasing gas taxes or vehicle registration fees.

The transportation funding bill passed two years ago, added about $100 million of new revenue for state and local highway systems, which is considerably less than the $260 million annual transportation funding deficit for the state and local highway systems. 

Idaho cities have 2,600 centerline miles of city streets and 267 bridges to maintain. 

More investment in Idaho’s roads and bridges will create jobs and preserve our vital infrastructure.

You can contact members of the House Transportation & Defense Committee at the emails listed below.

Rep. Joe Palmer, Meridian, Chair:  jpalmer@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Paul E. Shepherd, Riggins, Vice Chair:  pshepherd@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Terry Gestrin, Donnelly:  tgestrin@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Brandon A. Hixon, Caldwell:  bhixon@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Clark Kauffman, Filer:  ckauffman@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Kelley Packer, McCammon:  kpacker@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Rick D. Youngblood, Nampa:  ryoungblood@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Patrick McDonald, Boise:  pmcdonald@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Sage G. Dixon, Ponderay:  sdixon@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Steven Harris, Meridian:  sharris@house.idaho.gov

Rep. James Holtzclaw, Meridian:  jholtzclaw@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Jason A. Monks, Nampa:  jmonks@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Eagle:  gdemordaunt@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Scott Syme, Caldwell:  ssyme@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Phylis K. King, Boise:  pking@house.idaho.gov

Rep. Melissa Wintrow, Boise:  mwintrow@house.idaho.gov

Rep. John Gannon, Boise:  jgannon@house.idaho.gov

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

House Rev & Tax Committee Passes AIC-Opposed Foregone Bill

Posted By Justin Ruen, Tuesday, February 7, 2017

This morning the House Revenue & Taxation Committee approved AIC-opposed legislation that would restrict foregone levies for cities, counties and non-school taxing districts.  House Bill 103 will likely be up for floor debate and vote in the House later this week.

Since the mid-1990s, Idaho has had a 3% Cap on annual property tax increases that limits a local government’s property tax budget increases to 3% over the highest levy of the past three years, plus growth factors for new construction and annexation. 

If a local government chooses to levy less than the maximum amount permitted by law, then the foregone amounts accumulate and the local government can include these in their levy in subsequent years.

House Bill 103, sponsored by Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, would allow a local governing board to adopt a resolution to disclaim all or a portion of their foregone revenue. 

“This bill gives local governments the ability to control their own destiny,” said Moyle.  “If we truly believe in local control, we shouldn’t be afraid of this bill.”

The bill is drafted such that it’s not clear as to whether the resolution only applies to a single year’s foregone revenue or the local government’s accumulated foregone over decades.  Rep. Moyle indicated in his testimony that it is his intent that the resolution would only permit the governing board to forego their foregone revenue from a single year. 

Excellent testimony was provided by AIC President Brian Blad, Mayor of Pocatello and AIC Second Vice President Elaine Clegg, Council President of Boise.    

“Last year the Legislature made some significant changes to foregone levies that improved the process,” said Blad.  “Local governments were required to hold a public hearing and explain what the foregone levy would be used to fund.”  That law improved the transparency and accountability of foregone levies, “and it should be given the opportunity to work.” 

Elaine Clegg noted the fact that accumulated foregone levies total over $100 million is “real proof that the system is working.  Local elected officials are choosing to tax at a low rate and are proving they are fiscally responsible.”

Clegg explained that local elected officials often don’t know what the future holds and may not understand the implications of how their decision to reject foregone revenue might impact a community decades into the future. 

“The City of Meridian had a population of 3,000 in 1970.  Its population is over 90,000 today.  Growth of that magnitude requires a vastly different level of services.  Would the elected officials of Meridian in 1970 have foreseen this extremely high level of future growth?  Probably not.”  

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 6 of 12
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12
Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal