Politicians visit Aberdeen

Representatives Julie Van Orden, Neil Anderson and Senator Steve Bair held a town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 26, to inform the community of current legislation. They also held a question and answer period after their presentations.

Van Orden said she was the chairman of the education committee this year. Legislation passed 24 pieces of legislation this past session. Funding was a big piece and they wanted to make sure to fund the career ladder for the third year. Some of the bills passed were rescinding earlier bills that put more control on the state.

She said because of some changes districts now have more flexibility on how they spend the technology money and they have separated out the insurance cost so the legislators can see how much goes for insurance.

“The session went well,” Van Orden said, adding the group will be looking at higher education in the future.

Bair said they started the session with $140 million and spent over $100 million in education increases.

He sits on two committees, JFAC (Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee) and the Senate Resource and Finance Committee.

Bair said they spent the first half of the session listening and the last three or four weeks setting the budget. They heard and passed 25 pieces of legislation concerning water, oil and natural gas. They worked on crafting regulations that will keep the water and air clean and safe for Idaho residents. One group wants to put salmon in the water above Hells Canone Dam and they don’t want to allow it because that is introducing fish in waters that they have never been before and they can’t live there. …

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