In a discussion with reporters today, House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, said the House GOP leadership wanted Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, to meet with a half-dozen female representatives who had specific concerns, before restoring her committee assignments. That meeting, facilitated by Caucus Chairman John VanderWoude, R-Nampa, took place Monday afternoon, Crane said.
“When this episode took place a couple of weeks ago, we outlined some things we would like Rep. Scott to address,” Crane said. “Those were addressed as of Monday afternoon. … This issue is taken care of, and we’re done.”
He said Scott already had apologized to the caucus “in a very appropriate way,” and the Monday afternoon meeting completed that process. “I’m sure it was not an easy meeting to have, but one that had to take place in order to bring closure,” he said.
Among other issues Crane touched on in his discussion with reporters:
* Lawmakers will take action in response to federal court decisions declaring two Idaho laws unconstitutional: One regarding two 2015 laws dealing with telemedicine and abortion, and the other in regard to state liquor license provisions dealing with movie theaters. “I met with the Attorney General’s office yesterday,” Crane said, and senators are working on the issue as well. “We decided early on there has to be a fix.” The court said lawmakers should repeal the laws or they’ll be declared unconstitutional and void.*
* Crane said he and other lawmakers are working to lift the sunset on the “surplus eliminator” that for the past two years has provided some surplus state general funds for transportation work. The 2015 law split any unanticipated surplus between road and bridge work, and state savings accounts.
* Several lawmakers yesterday visited a downtown pub that has “touch tab” lottery machines, which are targeted in a bill that’s up for a hearing tomorrow morning in the House State Affairs Committee, contending they’re too much like slot machines. “We watched a gentleman sit there for about 15 or 20 minutes,” playing the machine, Crane said. “It’s the issue of repetitive plays.”