Thursday, March 29, 2012

Idaho Legislature Adjourns

Boise-The Idaho Legislature adjourned this week after 81 days of intense debate on everything from mandatory ultrasounds for abortion seekers to evicting Occupy Boise campers to dedicating $35 million in tax cuts for corporations and top earners. Those plans passed in the final hours of the session.

The ultrasound bill stalled in the House without a hearing; but supporters promise its return in 2013.

Occupiy Boise tents are still on state property, after a judge stalled Republicans' efforts to remove them earlier this week.

But tax cuts cleared the Senate in the final hours, part of a compromise package negotiated with Gov. Otter that includes $35 million to restore teacher salaries and $34 million in rainy-day savings.

The 28-7, tax-cut vote late Thursday drew heated debate by Democrats who argued that the cuts go to the rich and really don’t amount to much.

For instance a family of four earning $100,000 annually will see $71 in tax relief, according to state calculations.

Part of the compromise that led to Thursday's adjournment was the surplus legislation in which Idaho lawmakers agreed to restore at least $35 million to teacher salaries over the next five years.

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