House Speaker Bruce Newcomb just announced to the House that there’s an agreement on the water issue, “So that issue is taken care of. The two issues left are taxes and roads.” Then the House got the word that the Senate had killed its amendments to SB 1404, the last attempt at a property tax bill.
Newcomb said the House Ways and Means Committee will meet at noon, “at which time there probably will be a couple bills come out of there.” Then, at 1:30, the House Revenue and Taxation Committee will meet, and take up “probably the final proposal” on property tax relief. “We’ll see how that plays out,” Newcomb told the House. He said he thought it was important that House members heading home to campaign for re-election be able to deliver property tax relief, but they’re “thwarted at this point by the body across the way.” He added, “I think you might take solace in the fact that you’re not senators.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has recessed until 1:30. At that time, Majority Leader Bart Davis said, they’ll take up any additional bills the House has sent them. And if there isn’t anything new, “then we have an alternate exit strategy” aimed at adjourning for the session “sometime this afternoon.”
Since the “Connecting Idaho” highway funding bill still is being held in committee in the House, that strategy presumably would include adding the funding into the transportation budget bill, which the Senate is holding.