The very first thing the House did was pass HB436, a $600 million income / corporate tax cut, in which most Idahoans will get ~$75 while those in the top 1% will get $13,000. Here’s a chart showing the distribution.

I’ve heard from so many of you distressed about skyrocketing property taxes and some wanting a grocery tax repeal, but no one has ever written to me asking for $13,000 checks for millionaires! Here are the reasons I opposed HB436:

  • We should focus first on funding vital needs before income tax cuts – getting Idaho out of last place in education funding, saving our nearly-collapsing foster care system, fixing >1500 bridges in need of repair, providing full-day kindergarten and childcare, etc.
  • Of all the ways to do a $600M tax cut, this one gets the least help to those who need it. Once this money is out the door, we won’t be able to meaningfully cut property taxes and eliminate grocery tax.
  • It is being funded by the internet sales tax, which is paid disproportionately by those with lower incomes, meaning this bill literally takes from the poor to give to the rich.

If you have time to wonk out on tax policy, here’s my floor debate laying out the problems with this bill. It’s off to the Senate now where it will be heard any day in the Local Government and Taxation Committee. You can testify in-person, sign up to testify remotely, or email them with your thoughts.


On the brighter side, today the House passed H443, a bill that I co-sponsored and that had strong bipartisan support. It allows educators to join the State of Idaho employee health plan, which will provide much better and more affordable coverage than is now available. This should help substantially with teacher recruitment and retention, although we still need to work on pay.

Health care

The Office of Performance Evaluations conducted a study of Idaho’s Emergency Medical Services last year, and the results were frightening. Only 18% of EMS directors say they have adequate staff. In rural areas they can’t afford paid personnel, are relying on volunteers, and cannot provide timely ambulances and paramedic services for those experiencing medical emergencies. Rep. Green and I have been working on legislation to address this that will hopefully be introduced shortly.