UPDATE Friday, Feb. 16: A letter from state Rep. Nicole LeFavour - who sits on Rev & Tax - makes it clear: More voices are needed from outside Boise to press for local option taxing authority for transit. Nicole also believes it's a mistake to settle for the supermajority level, since that is mainly used for emergency school bonds (many of which do not pass at that level). She writes: "If we wait until public transportation is an emergency, it will be many times more costly to build. Also in some cases it will then be too late to prevent the need for more and more very costly urban highway projects."
So bottom line - please contact your friends and family outside Boise and ask them to contact the committee in support of a local option tax bill that allows passage with a 60 percent majority.
The folks from Idaho Smart Growth have sent word that a compromise may be in the works on a local option transit bill, and that the legislation will probably hit the House Revenue & Tax Committee next week.
Basically, since Rev & Tax balked at lowering the supermajority for a community college district last week, transit advocates know they'll need to seek a 66 2/3rds percent vote for transit, too. However, they're hoping that in return, the law would permit the issue to appear on any May or November - not November in an even year, as advocates would have accepted in trade for a lower pass threshold.
So again: It's time to tell everyone you know who lives in districts represented by the folks below to contact their legislator(s) and express support for local option funding authority for public transit. The lawmakers are:
Chair Dennis M. Lake Republican District 28, Blackfoot
Vice Chair Gary E. Collins, Republican District 12, Nampa
Lenore Hardy Barrett, Republican District 35, Challis
Mike Moyle, Republican District 14, Star
Robert E. Schaefer, Republican District 12, Nampa
Leon E. Smith, Republican District 24, Twin Falls
Dell Raybould, Republican District 34, Rexburg
Ken A. Roberts, Republican District 8, Donnelly
JoAn E. Wood, Republican District 35, Rigby
Jim Clark, Republican District 3, Hayden Lake
R. J. Harwood, Republican District 2, St. Maries
Scott Bedke, Republican District 27, Oakley
Phil Hart, Republican District 3, Athol
George C. Sayler, Democrat District 4, Coeur d'Alene
Wendy Jaquet, Democrat District 25, Ketchum
Nicole LeFavour, Democrat District 19, Boise
Bill Killen, Democrat District 17, Boise
James D. Ruchti, Democrat District 29, Pocatello