2017 State Legislative wrapup

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) State lawmakers are heading back home after the 2017 legislative session.

Idaho District 24A Rep. Lance Clow

"This session was different than any of my prior sessions," said Rep. Lance Clow from Twin Falls.

Altogether, there were 334 bills in the house.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the top ones:

1. Grocery tax repeal.

This repeals both the grocery tax and the grocery tax credit.

“I think everyone will feel the benefits of that,” Clow said.

Both the House and the Senate approved it, and it waits on Gov. Otter’s desk for him to sign.

Clow thinks it’s not very likely.

“The governor’s threatened to veto, but we’ll have to wait and see that,” he said.

2. Transportation money.

This is two different bills. One is a $52 million one-time assistance to help out small communities after a devastating winter. The other is more than $300 million diverted for roads and bridges.

“Transportation obviously at the beginning of the session is always an issue,” Clow said, “but this year, because of the severe winter across the state and all the damage done to roads and infrastructure… [it] became a high priority."

These two also wait on the governor’s desk.

Rep. Maxine Bell of Jerome said she’s confident Otter will sign at least the $52-million bill.

3. Public school funding.

This is the biggest chunk of the state budget.

"Education was the third year of the career ladder, which required over $50 million to fund that,” Clow said. “Plus there were several things done to the career ladder to make sure some inequities were settled."

The budget totaled $1.7 billion, which is an increase of 6.3 percent.

“It's always been a priority to the state of Idaho,” he said. “It's always been a high percentage of our budget goes to education."

This bill also waits signature from Gov. Otter.

Clow also introduced a bill that allows drivers to go up to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit to pass others (on two-lane highways with a speed limit of at least 55). That cleared the House, Senate and Gov. Otter’s desk, and will go into effect this summer.

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