15 thoughts on “Citizen Bill Ideas”

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  1. 2018 Idaho Gold and Silver Bill

    I am contacting you today regarding a tax-neutral policy expected to be considered in the Local Government and Taxation committee, namely a bill which backs out precious metals “gains” and “losses” from calculation of a taxpayers’ Idaho taxable income.

    This measure passed in the Idaho House last year (H 206) by a vote of 56-13, but it came over to the Senate at the very end of the session and was not heard. In the intervening months, Arizona’s governor signed a similar measure into law.

    This precious metals legislation will be reintroduced in the 2018 session. And Chairman Dan Johnson has agreed to hold a hearing in his Senate committee should it pass the House before the final days of the session.

    Here’s why we hope for your support…

    The Framers of our nation affirmed that gold and silver are money. Indeed, Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution even stipulates that “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”

    Although the monetary metals and dollars redeemable in gold and silver have been supplanted in recent decades by the Federal Reserve Note as America’s currency, an increasing number of Idaho citizens are realizing that holding gold and/or silver as a form of savings can help protect against the ongoing devaluation of this currency.

    Under current law, a taxpayer who sells precious metals may end up with a capital “gain” in terms of Federal Reserve Notes. This capital “gain” is not necessarily a real gain, it’s often a nominal gain that results from the inflation created by the Federal Reserve and the attendant decline in the dollar’s purchasing power. Yet this nominal gain is taxed at the federal level – and, because Idaho uses federal adjusted gross income (AGI) as a starting point for Idaho income calculations, this nominal gain is taxed again by Idaho.

    Policies that penalize precious metals ownership reduce the likelihood that Gem State citizens will take prudent steps to insulate themselves from the inflation and financial turmoil caused by the Federal Reserve.

    Inflation is a regressive tax. The hardest hit are wage earners, savers, and pensioners on fixed incomes – as well as those who own few or no tangible assets.

    Precious metals coins and bullion are currently exempt from Idaho’s sales tax. Neutralizing Idaho’s income tax treatment of the monetary metals removes the other major disincentive that stands against the ownership and use of the monetary metals.

    As mentioned above, removing physical precious metals from the calculation of Idaho taxable income is a tax-neutral policy.

    If this bill becomes law, taxpayers would back out precious metals gains (income) and losses from the calculations of their Idaho income – and therefore their taxable income could either decrease or increase Idaho tax revenue in any given year. That’s one reason why the fiscal note on the bill is very small.

    On behalf of Idaho savers, wage earners, and all those who use gold and silver to insulate against the devastating effects of inflation across the state, we are asking you to vote YES on this bill.

  2. Civil Forfeiture Bill
    I have carefully read and discussed the civil forfeiture bill with several of my colleagues in Legislative District 1, including retired law enforcement. The bill will be reintroduced in the next legislative session. We strongly support and appreciate most of the bill. The protections listed to prevent abuse and violation of the due process clause under the 5th Amendment are right on target; however, the bill fails to address the other elephant in the room.

    The other major concern about civil forfeiture is the public’s perception of a conflict of interest that asset forfeiture distributions create. I hope and request that you amend the bill to resolve this problem by making the state (or the county) general fund the recipient of all forfeited asset proceeds and property. The state or county can then determine where the forfeited proceeds and property are most needed using well established budgeting procedures.

    The bill currently orders the proceeds or the property, if it can’t be sold, to go to the prosecutor’s office, the appropriate law enforcement agency, a drug and driving while under the influence donation fund, or a drug enforcement donation fund. The prosecutor, law enforcement, or a nebulous “donation fund” should neither be the beneficiary of stolen goods nor profit from the sale of criminal goods. There is an inherent conflict of interest to distribute criminal proceeds and stolen property to the offices responsible for the arrest and conviction. It is a perverse and immoral idea that doesn’t pass the smell test. Calling it a “donation fund” makes it even more suspect.

    All other government agencies and departments, etc., are subject to the budgeting process by an overseeing elected body. Why award a bonus, over and above their annual budget, under the guise of “expenses,” “donations,” or “take custody.” All government offices would love free land, vehicle, or house; have their expenses paid; and have a donation made to their favorite charitable fund.

    As you know, this is an emotional subject for law enforcement because we put them in a very awkward position. Under last year’s civil forfeiture bill this boondoggle is allowed to continue (the dollars involved must be substantial; my guess, it is in the millions), which means our law enforcement will continue to suffer public backlash and unnecessary suspicion (created by the legislature) concerning their true motives and the adverse fallout (public disgust) of benefiting from the ill-gotten goods of criminals.

    We all love and support our sheriff and police and for that reason they will continue to have our support come budget time; and, I should add, that our position is not about doing away with civil forfeiture, if under due process protection, or in any way an attack on law enforcement. It is about trying to clean up the terrible abuse this law has created across our nation and the mistrust of profiting from forfeited illicit goods; thereby, this change, if adopted, will significantly enhance the stellar reputation and trust in Idaho law enforcement.

    Let’s take this opportunity to dissolve the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the asset forfeiture concept in the mind of the public. Any hint of abuse or corruption would completely disappear, when we abolish the incentives, the enticements, and the enabling features in this bill.

  3. As a retired military man ( U.S Army NCO) , and a Gold Star father who lost his son in Iraq,
    Why don’t gold star family’s get a tax break? We are so few yet have paid so much ….would not cost the state much…

  4. Modify Idaho Code Section 39 to allow local jurisdictions to exempt owner-builders from building code requirements.

  5. Eliminate the March and August elections. This will save the counties money, and most people are unaware these election are happening so there is low voter turnout.

    It is ridiculous that we have elections every three months.

    1. Kathy, good news. Our Bonner County Clerk has lobbied the Idaho Secretary of State to do what you are asking. I asked him about it today and he said, “I’ve already lobbied our SOS for the same!! August and March elections are an enormous waste.”

      I’ve also heard, but could not confirm with the county clerk that the school districts have a budgeting conflict with the primary (Jun) and general (Nov) election schedule. This could be why the obvious waste of taxpayer funds and low turnout has gone on so long. The education lobby is very powerful. The legislature would have to coordinate s with the school authorities to make some sort of change in their budgeting process.

  6. I would like to work with someone to change Idaho Code Section 9-340C(1), the exemption from disclosure of personnel records for all public employees. As a retired chief of police, I am well aware of the reasoning behind the code; however, self policing without transparency doesn’t work. It didn’t work in the banking industry (as the 2008 crisis proved) and it isn’t working in government. I would like to see full release of personnel records. I would be happy to discuss this with anyone who is interested. There is a call to action for just this cause in the back of my book “Tarnishing of the Badge.” Thank you.

  7. Seeing as AG Wasden is unwilling or considers him self and his department incapable of defending Idaho law (dully enacted) at the Supreme Court level, It would be appropriate to bring impeach charges per ID Constitution. His failing being demonstrated by his call for capitulation via H0250.

  8. 1) Enact legislation that only allows actual county real estate owners to vote on school levys
    2) Provide property tax relief to waterfront property owners who pay for approved aquatic invasive species control and eradication.
    3) Enact legislation to protect religious freedos for all business owners. The Right to Decline Services Bill
    4) Enact legislation to provide state tax relief to any Idaho resdient who was former US military personel who is honirably discharged. Sliding scale: 10% relief ages 18-30; 15% relief 31-49; 20% relief 50-64; 25% 65 or older.
    5) Term limits for all elected and appointed state employees

  9. The Free American Tax Plan

    The purpose of this plan is to eliminate any U.S. citizen paying taxes directly to the Federal government, but instead mandating that all taxes be collected by the state the individual resides in. In this manner the state government and its representatives will have a greater incentive in making sure the Federal government is limited in size and fiscally responsible. This will also give states greater independence from federal over reach. This will also allow the citizens of each state greater power to influence the Federal Government through State elections.

    The proposal is simple. The States are to agree on a percentage of taxes to be collected from their citizens based on a budget proposal from the Federal government. This budget must be approved by a majority of states before any state is required to pay the funds asked for. The States will collect the taxes from the citizenry of the state and deposit the monies into the state coffers. The State will then pay the agreed amount to the Federal Government to fund the agreed upon budget.

  10. A great Idea for ID

    Kentucky State Senator Jared Carpenter has submitted a bill which would require the state’s students to pass a citizenship exam before graduating high school — the test similar to that taken by those looking to become naturalized citizens.

    Students “would be given the opportunity to retake the test ‘as often as needed in order to pass,’ but would need to pass with a score of at least 60 percent,” WDRB.com reports.

    Carpenter had filed a similar bill last year, but it went nowhere in the Democratic-majority House of Representatives.

    If the bill passes, it would take effect the 2018-2019 school year.


    1. It seems we already are set to do something regarding the naturalization test in the Idaho schools in order to pass. See the last part of this below.
      Idaho Education statute 33-1602
      (7) Starting with the 2016-2017 school year, all secondary pupils must show they have met the state civics and government standards for such instruction through the successful completion of the civics test or alternate path established by the local school district or charter school that shows the student has met the standards. Assessment of standards shall be included as part of the course at the secondary level. A school district or public charter school shall document on the pupil’s transcript that the pupil has passed the civics test pursuant to this subsection. The school district or governing body of the charter school may determine the method and manner in which to administer the civics test. A pupil may take the civics test, in whole or in part, at any time after enrolling in grade 7 and may repeat the test as often as necessary to pass the test. The applicability of this subsection to a pupil who receives special education services shall be governed by such pupil’s individualized education plan. For the purposes of this subsection, “civics test” means the one hundred (100) questions used by officers of the United States citizenship and immigration services as a basis for selecting the questions posed to applicants for naturalization, in order that the applicants can demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of United States history and the principles and form of United States government, as required by 8 U.S.C. section 1423. The state board of education may promulgate rules implementing the provisions of this subsection.

  11. Put time limits on all bills to be read on the floor, or at least to be heard and debated in committee. Have consequences for not meeting the deadline.