VALE — Just a few months past the 2019 Legislature’s long session, state Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, is looking to a short session in 2020, which will be 35 days long, and expects at least one major bill will be carried over from the last session to the next one — the carbon bill.
The carbon bill (commonly known as cap and trade) is the bill for which the Senate Republicans fled the Capitol this year. This held up the Legislative session for a number of days bringing close to its required adjournment with a lot of bills still to be acted on.
A compromise to get the Republicans back to finish the session was reached and the cap and trade bill was pulled but is expected to return. The bill would add an estimated 16 cents per gallon to the cost of fuel, initially.
“We need to do something with carbon,” Findley said.
He noted the majority Democrats did not allow for any amendments to make any changes to their cap and trade bill.
Findley was speaking during a lunch at Chavelitas in Vale after hosting a coffee hour in Nyssa Tuesday morning.
One of the wins for the Republicans was to defeat attempts by the Democratic lawmakers to spend at least part of the kicker instead of returning it to taxpayers. The kicker, in the amount of $1.67 billion, will be turned to taxpayers as they file their returns next year.
The kicker prevents surpluses above a certain level.
“This state is flush in money,” Findley said, commenting that taking money from the kicker is not needed. “We have a spending problem.”
The state is taking in $5 billion in new taxes this year.
Another bill that Findley said he voted against, and was defeated, was legislation to have mandatory vaccinations for school students, ending the practice of allowing exemptions for religious purposes.
Findley said he thinks there is a need for some required vaccines, but the bill had required 13, which he thought was too many, as it was not known if there would be a negative reaction.