House Ways & Means meets for first time to print legislation

Chairman Robert Anderst (R-Nampa) called the privileged House Ways and Means Committee to order today for the first time since the committee’s organizational meeting on January 8th.

RELATED: What is the Ways & Means Committee?

The committee is composed of seven members: four Republicans, including the House Majority and Minority Leaders, the Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders, and Majority and Minority Caucus Chairs. The seventh member of the committee is Chairman Anderst.

Today, the committee heard three proposed pieces of legislation:

  1. Rep. Jake Ellis (D-Boise) proposed RS26858, a Concurrent Resolution Honoring Dr. Tom Cade

Representative Ellis noted the recent passing of Dr. Tom Cade, PhD, who was 91 years old. During his life, Ellis said Dr. Cade inspired countless conservationists around the world, exhibited kindness and tenacity. He was the Founding Chairman and Director of the Peregrine Fund. The organization’s headquarters is the World Center for Birds of Prey located in Boise, Idaho. The Velma Morrison Interpretive Center is well-known to many Idaho residents and tourists. It is a “one-of-a-kind indoor/outdoor education center where you’ll meet eagles, owls, vultures, hawks, and falcons from around the world,” according to the center’s website.

2. Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise), co-sponsor of this legislation with Rep. Randy Armstrong (R-Inkom) proposed RS26882, regarding Homeowners Solar Panel Rights.

Rep. Rubel noted that discussion on an existing piece of proposed legislation has been underway, but the RS is being brought to the committee to add some language to clarify that this legislation only applies to homes for which the homeowner is responsible for maintenance and repair of the roof. Homeowners associations are responsible for the maintenance of the some roofs of homes in the state, according to Rubel. This language was added to ensure that this legislation only applies to properties for which the roof is maintained and owned by the homeowner.

3. Rep. Mike Moyle (R-Star), who also serves as the House Majority Leader, proposed RS26866, regarding Steelhead Fishing Season.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously in November to suspend the ongoing steelhead fishing season after Dec. 7, “seeking to avoid potentially costly legal fees,” as reported by the Lewiston Tribune.

Moyle’s concern is that Idaho’s permit for take of wild steelhead has not been approved by the federal government. He cites the government shutdown as part of the delay in approval of the permit.

Moyle argued that conservation groups filed a lawsuit attempted to end steelhead fishing in Idaho, which has since been resolved. Moyle also noted a “large outcry” from Idaho sportsmen.

Moyle said they’re asking for a renewal period of nine years for the steelhead take permit. This memorial seeks to encourage Congress to ensure the permit is issued promptly.

The committee voted unanimously to introduce all three pieces of legislation, which were sent to printing.

The committee voted to print all three bills.

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