Next Week’s State Senate/House Committee Hearings; Federal Update

A few legislative items for your Friday afternoon, and a reminder to set your clock an hour forward at 2am Sunday morning!

Next Week in the Idaho State Capitol Building…
The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday March, 15th at 8am on S. 1085, a domestic cervidae bill. This legislation would provide for a certified domestic cervidae herd to define a term, to provide for the establishment of certain requirements and assessment of risk, to provide for inventory identification, chronic wasting disease sampling, and submission. It would also provide for waiver requests, for reduction of herd status, and clarify testing provisions for herds not certified. Finally, It provides for fees imposed on cervidae, and provides for the creation of a domestic cervidae program fund within the State treasury. You can listen to the hearing by clicking here, and scrolling down to Senate Committees – Agriculture Affairs.

On Wednesday, March 16th, the Senate Resources and Environment Committee will hear eight bills dealing with water. These bills are:
H. 136
H. 137a
H. 138
HCR 16
H. 22
H. 24
H. 25
H. 31
This hearing starts at 1:30pm, and you can listen to the hearing by clicking here and scrolling down to Senate Committees – Resources and Environment Committee.

On the House side, the State Affairs Committee will hearing H. 242, an eminent domain bill authored by Rep. Jim Guthrie (R-District 29). This hearing will be on Monday, March 14th and start at 8am. Click here, and scroll down to the link  House Committees – State Affairs to listen to the hearing on your computer.

From the United States Capitol…
Senator Mike Crapo introduced legislation to reduce the beer excise tax for America’s small brewers. The appropriately titled BEER Act (Brewer’s Employment and Excise Relief Act) will help create jobs at more than 1,600 small breweries nationwide, which collectively employ nearly 100,000 people. The bill number is S. 534, and you can track the bill by clicking here. It’s currently pending a hearing in the Senate Committee on Finance, of which Senator Crapo is a member.

Senator Crapo stated in a press release, “Like any private business, craft brewing is all about supply and demand. In touring Idaho last year, I met with many craft brewers who are seeking to expand their business because they are seeing increased demand for their product. In addition, this legislation will expand the ready markets for our barley, wheat and hops producers in Idaho. I remain optimistic this bill will pass this year to create new jobs and new markets.”

Finally, Congressman Mike Simpson’s Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies held a budget hearing for the Bureau of Land Management on March 10, 2011. Chairman Simpson questioned BLM Director Bob Abbey regarding a number of issues, including the Wild Horse and Burro program, grazing on public lands, and the Administration’s new “Wild Lands” policy. Said Simpson, “With the current budget crisis facing our country, I find it puzzling that the BLM requests $50 million for land acquisition and $1 billion for the new America’s Great Outdoors initiative when it has difficulty managing the land it already holds.”

You can read Chairman Simpson’s opening statement by clicking here.

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