Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Absolute power corrupts absolutely

Just a few minutes ago the Speaker of the House ruled a motion made by Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet out of order. The motion was to have the House concur in Senate amendments to H599AA,As (the personal property tax bill). The amendments placed a cap of $75,000 on the taxable value of property owned by businesses. In so doing, 86% of all Idaho businesses wouldn't have to pay this tax at a cost of about $15 million. As importantly, local units of government would be held harmless.

The fact is that the motion wasn't out of order. This was a case of the Speaker thinking he is, "above the law." Rep. Jaquet objected and appealed to his ruling, but the appeal failed on a party line vote. This is what happens when there is no balance in the partisan make up of the Legislature. This is what happens when someone perceives that they have absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

PS - I'll write more about the bill itself later.