Session 1 Week 4

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This past week the legislature handled several slightly more controversial issues both in my committees and on the floor. In the Ag committee we heard arguments for and against limiting perpetual conservation easements to 100 years. Opponents of the bill pointed to the benefits of estate planning and tax breaks, the protection of native grass and wildlife habitat. The proponents of the bill made the points that we are all merely stewards of the land during our time on earth; we shouldn’t bind the hands of future generations, that any amount of money that may benefit the owner at the current time when divided by infinity is zero. It was a challenging hearing and in the end the bill died in committee 7-6.

In education we heard HB 1101 on Tuesday and on the House floor on Thursday. It was a simple bill that clarifies that curriculum choices are a matter of local control set by each school district. There was relatively little discussion in committee but on the floor it turned into a “talker” as several points were raised that while yes, it is a local control issue, when common core standards and the subsequent testing involved in measuring common core are taken into consideration there are actually very few choices out there when it comes to curriculum and most come from a few companies. I voted for it but I believe that it was merely a feel good bill that doesn’t really have much effect on what choices the districts have.

Also heard on the floor was a proposal to increase the fine for not wearing a seatbelt from $25 to $50. That failed, so it will continue to only cost you $25 and possibly your life to not wear a seatbelt.

However when it comes to speed your legislature was all about that as we passed a measure that allows a passer to exceed the posted speed limit by 10 mph when passing someone going slower than the posted limit on a two lane paved road.

HB 1117 was up before the House, which is the only bill I was the prime sponsor for this session. It simply clarified who gives approval for alternatively educated students to partake in dual credit courses at the state colleges and universities. It passed the house with a 68-1 vote.

The upcoming week in Ag will have us deciding who can request to see your hunting license. The law currently says that anyone may request to see your hunting or fishing license. However in this day and age of identity theft there is good reason to limit who can see it to only game wardens and law enforcement. I am already aware that there is an amendment that will be brought to also include the land owner.

Please keep in touch. 

Rep. Joshua Klumb