Idaho Legislature, Day 54: a reading roundup

• A $36 million plan to cut corporate and high-end personal income taxes is headed to the Senate.

The House passed House Bill 563 Thursday, 49-20.

“It’s probably the best economic development bill we’ve seen all year,” declared House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, HB 563’s lead sponsor.

“Every study I’ve seen says cutting taxes in and of itself does nothing to further economic growth, even though I recognize that’s a strong belief by many in this body,” said Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise.

More quotes, and full coverage of the debate, from Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

• Meanwhile, a bill to reverse $34 million in state teacher pay cuts over five years in on its way to the House. The Senate gave the bill its OK on a 32-0 vote.

Details from the Associated Press.

• Caldwell attorney Jim Rice was appointed Thursday to replace Sen. John McGee — and Rice, a former House candidate, now says he’ll run for the Senate seat this year.

More from the AP.

• Speaking of the Senate, will this chamber look more like the House come 2013 — and vote to match?
No fewer than nine House members are planning a run for the Senate, which is historically more moderate than the House.

“Could this cultural shift lead to more conservative bills, like urban renewal reform and removal of the charter school cap, making it through the Senate after being sidetracked? No one can say for sure,” writes Dustin Hurst of

Link here to Hurst’s analysis.

• And speaking of candidate filings, here’s my latest roundup. The biggest name from Thursday: 12-year Senate veteran Patti Anne Lodge, R-Caldwell, filed to seek a seventh term.

Check back during the day for filings updates.

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