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Comments

sharon fisher

so why did they vote to print it and then shoot it down now?

Idagreen

Here is Rep. Moyle's response to my request for his support of HB 246:

"The local governments can go to the voters today to get the money to buy what they need for mass transportation(bonds). I don't understand why, if there is such a problem, they have not done so. I was told that even if the busses were bought and paid for that they would not generate enough revenue to pay for the fuel and labor. That is a big problem with me. I was also told that even with a new tax (sales tax) they would need to have other revenue to make it work. So I ask you which other tax would you like to raise to help pay for this. Mike Moyle"

Where do you even start with this?
IF there is such a problem? WTF!!!!

I hardly see the point of even contacting these people, they are not solution oriented, to say the least. And if you don't see the problem in the first place, hey, what's to solve?

I'm with you Julie, hard to see what's next. Under the current scenario, the only thing to do is, as you have done with your bus adoption, STOP BUYING GAS! Since the gas tax must constitutionally go to building roads, it seems like this is the only way an individual can make even a small impact.

The harsh political reality is we need to amend the frickin’ state constitution regarding the disposition of funds from gas taxes, cuz obviously these yahoos don’t care about the air we breath or folks killed on the crowded roadways.

Time for an initiative folks, what else is there?

The Nickel-Plated JA

Unfortunately the State Constitution can't be amended through an initiative. Amendments require a 2/3 vote of both houses *before* they go to the voters.

I'd like to *think* the Rubs would actually be somewhat receptive to amending the Constitution relative to gas taxes, since it's not a tax increase, just a change in spending priorities. In fact, using the gas taxes and car registrations for such a purpose is actually my preferred method of funding transit ops.

On a deeper note, it would help make the amendment idea more sympathetic in the eyes of the voters if it could be shown there were nasty corporate influences at work getting the current one passed originally in the early 1940s; the era is certainly right -- anyone have any information vis-a-vis car and/or oil companies lobbying/promoting for it back then (a la the other plots to kill streetcar systems etc. nationwide in that era)?

David Erin Anthony

I hate to say it but do we have any nice, pretty and simple Dick and Jane comparisons to other cities of approximately the same size and population base and show thier public transportation setup. We need to show thier costs, how they are funded and the benefits no only in environmental but also economic, transportation time improvements and in local business improvements. In the military we had a term for this, KISS (Keep It Simple STUPID). If we can show this(or get the Statesmen to print it) we can persuade some serious movement on this.

Idagreen

Duh-oh, NPJA is right. Article XX definitely puts the kibosh on citizen initiated amendments.

I wish folks would be motivated by the exposure of corruption and misplaced allegiances, but I doubt even the most sordid story of crooked deals of the past would be enough to get people adequately activated for change. Or even that the most obvious, bottom line, big fat slobbery KISS example will move the likes of Mike Moyle.

Maybe Rep. Moyle will contribute a portion of the $136,428 he's collected in ag subsidies in the last 10 years as seed money for transit?

bernard

No, you should not take this personally or as a slight to Boise. The ones really getting screwed are the residents west of Boise. Folks in the city are not the ones stuck on I-84 in the morning and late afternoon.

What this vote does point out, just like the defeat of the community college proposal, is that the Idaho Legislature is woefully unprepared to understand and handle urban issues. It does not have anything to do with special interests that oppose transit, it's that the leaders don't get it, and traffic woes will only worsen into the future and ultimately come at a cost of economic growth in the Treasure Valley.

tim

The people west of boise are part of the valley's problem. they refuse to sign on to emissions testing. they are a large part of the problem. i have no sympathy for those 2c'ers stuck in traffic.

MountainGoat

Some of us 2c'ers are trying :)

sagenav

Seems there is some hypocrisy going on here. Our conservative leadership clamors about allowing the public the right to vote on issues such as gay marriage and the Ten Commandments, but in this case they don't think we should be allowed a voice.
This issue as well as the Daycare Regulations issue will hopefully show the public just how out of touch these legislators are. Or, maybe its just me that is out of touch.

Julie in Boise

Ken Roberts of Donnelly is possibly the biggest villain in this saga. Of course he may have just been doing Mike Moyle's bidding, but he's the one who tried to keep the bill from being printed last week, and the one who offered the substitute motion yesterday that wound up killing the bill.

And Roberts has no idea what we ought to do in stead of a local option tax. Last week, he was advocating a head tax on Ada and Canyon residents so the folks who come here to shop from out of the area won't be bothered by the tax.

Yesterday, he shifted gears a bit and said Ada and Canyon ought to boost vehicle registration fees to pay for transit. But Idaho code won't allow vehicle registration fees to be used for transit.

The regional transit coalition looked at about a dozen ways to raise the money, and decided the local option tax was the only way to raise sufficient revenue in a constitutionally allowable manner. But clearly, given the makeup of this legislature, we need to look at even more ideas - and we all need to start using transit at least part-time to prove the demand and the will are there.

Julie in Boise

NPJA wrote:

"I'd like to *think* the Rubs would actually be somewhat receptive to amending the Constitution relative to gas taxes, since it's not a tax increase, just a change in spending priorities."

This may well be the way to go, except the other transportation needs (including the massively lowballed Connecting Idaho GARVEE'd road projects) funded by gas taxes aren't going away, either.

tim

Sorry Mountaingoat. My bad.

bernard

So Ken Roberts had different ideas on different days? Including one that was unconstitutional? No one ever claimed he is the smartest guy in the room.

Julie in Boise

At this point, we need all the ideas we can get. But we also need new people in the legislature.

My guess: Roberts is going down in 2008. He won by just 6% last fall, and Valley County is moving Democratic.

Sisyphus

Excellent point Julie. But "unresponsive" is too kind, they are deliberately obstructing, and arrogantly so as the Goat points our in his post. They are denying Idaho the tools to go into the 21st century. We need to stack the deck right away with a good candidate. The Republicans are well aware this is not an election year and nothing contoversial will likely occur next year that might weaken a candidate's potential for re-election, especially one in leadership. We need to nurture this flame and remind people when it counts. Roberts is definitely vulnerable.

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