Legislative updates (H/T – B)

Here are more bills that have been killed.

HB1152 was defeated. It would have provided for drug testing for TANF.

SB160 was defeated. It would have extended sales tax to commodities and securities brokers, like other professional services.

HB1223 and 1224 were defeated. They would have reduced problems with payday loans and title loans.

On SB177 was defeated this morning. It rather sounded like this was defeated at the governor’s request because of the economy and not knowing yet what federal highway assistance may be coming. The state needs money for highways, so this will be an ongoing discussion for the next legislature. Meanwhile people struggling now to pay for gas to get to work can breathe a little easier for the time being.

Coming up

On sales tax increases, there have several bills. Only one remains: SB174. It was postponed to next Monday, 2/14 10:00AM. It raises sales tax from 4% to 5% (state portion) during June-July-August for the next 4 summers.

It is really important to prevent education cuts and Medicaid cuts, but it should be noted that sales tax is not the only option, and certainly not an increase on food.

Coming Today:

1. SB123 allows unemployment benefits for a worker looking for a new job when her/his military spouse is being relocated. Contact before 10:00AM, Thursday 2/10, to ask SUPPORT for SB123 of the Senate Commerce committee:

Senators Adelstein 32, Buhl  15, Johnston 12, Lederman 16, Tom Nelson 31, Nygaard 17, Rave 25

2. SB191 to drop the refund program for the food tax.

It is 10th on the agenda, but the Senate Appropriations Committee might get to it.

If you want to weigh in on it, contact these before 8:00AM today, 2/10.

Senators Brown 23, Haverly 35, Heineman 13, Novstrup(Al)  3, Peters 9, Putnam 19, Rampelberg 30, Sutton 26, Tidemann 7

1 comment so far ↓

#1 l3wis on 02.11.11 at 9:59 pm


Weekend Advocacy, update 2-10-11
Short version:
SB123, postponed til Tuesday 2/15.
SB191, heard but vote postponed to unknown date
HB174 postponed til Monday, 2/14
HB1134, no date yet, but it will be soon

Recent emails have already suggested concerns and suggestions related to Senate bills 123, 191, and 174.

We have not talked about HB1134, co-payments and deductibles for healthcare covered by Medicaid.
It is hard to know what is the intent.
Is it to try to get “blood from a turnip”, ie, raise state funds from people on Medicaid (Adults get Medicaid because of having disabilities but lacking money. A large part of the Medicaid expense is for nursing homes. A large number of enrollees are children, but not a large portion of the state expense.)
OR, Is it to shift more of the cost of Medicaid to the providers?
OR, Is it to keep people on Medicaid from seeking treatment?
Maybe you can think of other possibilities.

Some ideas for questions.
You could ask about the motivation.
You could ask who legislators think would end up paying these charges.
You could ask what might be the effect if sick people with Medicaid hear that $1000 a year in out-of-pocket costs is possible.

Ideas for questions on other bills.  [Put them in your own words.]
We could ask: Will you support (SB123) allowing military spouses to receive unemployment benefits during a job search when the military member has been relocated, to relieve a major stress for these families?

People could ask legislators if they would be willing to include in such a sales tax increase (as in SB174) a reduction in the food tax for those same summer months.
We always worry about child hunger when children are out of school. Food stamps do not go up in the summer to accommodate. Those on reduced lunch do not even get food stamps.

When will it be time to admit the failure of the food tax refund program, and start thinking about some other approach, even very small steps, to solving the problem of the food tax?
(Current enrollment: 372 households statewide)

10% cuts for education and Medicaid could result in job cuts and/or pay cuts for people not making much as it is. These need to be avoided. We could ask legislators: If this is not an appropriate time to use interest on education and health trust funds, when is?