When I was 17 years old, I was blessed with the honor of a lifetime: the opportunity to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. At the time I was one of two Idaho delegates elected by peers to visit Washington, DC for the student government training program, Boys Nation. The American Legion sponsored the program, along with its local predecessor, Boys State. Two representatives per state were selected and were housed at American University. Early one morning prior to an Independence Day ceremony, I was greeted in my dorm room (unannounced) by three uniformed military officers. They told me I had been “recruited” for duty, to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was an order, not a request. When I asked “Why me,” I was told that no native Idahoan had ever fulfilled such duty, and protocol dictated that over time every state must be represented by a native-born wreath layer. I was never able to validate that statement, but the officers communicated that Wyoming was in the same situation, so a Wyoming delegate (pictured next to me in white) was also “recruited.” My only qualification was that I was a native-born Idahoan. But I had a problem: I had no suit. I thought it would be dishonorable to perform such a task in jeans and a T-shirt! Thankfully, I was granted 15 minutes to run dorm to dorm trying to find a colleague about my size that had a suit I could borrow. The experience changed my life.
I found it interesting Governor Otter stated in his 2017 “State of the State” address that he lowered Idahoans’ tax burden by a billion dollars since 2007. As it turns out, the grocery tax credit accounts for about $633 million of that number. Perhaps the Governor forgot that it was myself and Rep. Cliff Bayer (now Senator) that got that legislation passed in 2007… and he vetoed it. It wasn’t until we passed it AGAIN in 2008, with a veto-proof margin, that the Governor signed it. If the Governor is really interested in reducing tax burden, I wonder why he just proposed growing government by 9% over the next year?
Read the Idaho Statesman article here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/latest-news/article126713814.html
Read the Grocery Tax Credit Bill results here: http://legislature.search.idaho.gov/…