Lewiston Tribune reporter Bill Spence reports today that new Sen. Dan Foreman, R-Moscow, who defeated three-term Sen. Dan Schmidt in November, says he plans to introduce a bill to classify abortion as murder and charge both the mother and the doctor, with the only exception being cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Foreman told the Tribune his bill would be “ground-breaking,” saying, “I'm tired of babies dying. It's time to start the fight, and I'll be the point man. I've been through two wars and have 11 years as a cop. I'm not thin-skinned.”
Foreman also told the Tribune he plans to introduce three bills regarding taxes, including one to cut Idaho’s sales tax from 6 percent to 5 percent, slicing $250 million a year from Idaho’s general fund collections. That would eliminate virtually all of the budget enhancements proposed for next year by Gov. Butch Otter, Spence reports, including the $101 million increase in public school funding.
Citing the Idaho Freedom Foundation's proposed alternative budget, Foreman said he believes there's room for a $200 million tax cut without harming education or transportation funding. However, the foundation's budget eliminates the entire career ladder teacher pay plan, substituting a 3 percent across-the-board pay increase, and cuts several other education initiatives. Spence’s full report is online here.
The freshman senator’s other planned bills include one to grant a tax break to parents who send their kids to private schools, and another to limit counties’ use of foregone balances in setting their budgets.