The conference committee returned from its break. “We won’t attempt to resolve the hold items at this point. We’ll move on to other issues,” announced Chairman Bert Brackett. “And understand, committee, that there must be a transportation connection on issues that we can include in a report. There are two issues at least that are off the table. One is flat tax, the other one is the grocery tax/grocery credit issue.”
Amid laughter, Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, asked, “We can’t bring 311 back?” “You got it,” Brackett responded, “Not in this process.”
The conference committee then discussed HB 95a, the bill to exempt materials used in public roads from the sales tax. That measure already has passed the Senate and is awaiting House concurrence in the amendments, which just put off the effective date a year. The conference committee agreed that it should stand on its own, and not be included in the conference committee’s bill.
At that point, Vander Woude abruptly announced, “The majority leader in the House wants us all upstairs quick.” Amid some joking about whether the senators needed to go too, Brackett put the conference committee at ease, and the House members skedaddled upstairs, where House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, has a newly introduced bill up for a vote to increase the grocery tax credit by $10 per person; that would cost about $13.8 million next year.