Brothers and Sisters,
We have completed the 26th day of the session. This means we are roughly one-third of the way through the session. This is both good and not-so-good for us. On the plus side, we are getting closer to the time when the collective bargaining bill is dead. On the negative side, we have a lot of work to get done in a short amount of time for presumptive illness legislation.
There are deadlines that bills must meet to stay alive. The most significant is the bill introduction deadline which is next Monday, February 13th. The collective bargaining bill has already been introduced and presumptive has not. I’m not overly concerned about presumptive since we intend to print it in a “privileged committee” which is not subject to the deadline. The next deadline of concern (March 5th) is the transmittal deadline – the last day on which a bill may be sent from one chamber to the other. The closer we get to that day, the better I feel about collective bargaining. At the same time the more urgency I feel about presumptive.
Regarding presumptive illness legislation, we have accomplished a lot. We have two great co-sponsors (Representative Bayer and Senator McKenzie), we have several key allies that are critical to the bill’s success, and we have a finalized draft that will be turned into RS form (the first stage of a bill) this coming week. Before we have a print hearing we need to lobby the committee that will print it to make sure we have the votes to get it through. After the print hearing we’ll have a full hearing by the same committee and, if passed out of committee, will be sent to the floor to be heard by the entire House or Senate. Before it’s sent to the floor we have to lobby every member of that chamber to make sure we have those votes too so it can be transmitted and the process started all over in the opposite chamber. As you can see, even with much accomplished, there is much to do. Again, I feel optimistic about where we are and how things are going.
There are several bills regarding PERSI, but it appears that they will have little or no impact on our members. We will be evaluating these proposals with the PERC coalition to ensure there is nothing we need to worry about.
There are a few other issues we are also watching and will update you as they develop.
Please contact me with any questions or comments.
Professional Firefighters of Idaho
Executive Vice President