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Boise, ID 83720-0081
U.S.A

(208) 332-1353

Boise Idaho Senator Michelle Stennett, Idaho State Senate Minority Leader

News Blog

2017 Legislative News, End of Session

Michelle Stennett

Hard working Idahoans tell us their top issues are education and the economy, healthcare, and transportation infrastructure. Through that lens, we made great stride with public education, skilled workforce development which equates to well-paid careers, state-wide transportation infrastructure needs, and policies that support our quality of life. With deep disappointment, healthcare, particularly the 78,000 uninsured gap population, remains unresolved with a few exceptions. Let's see how the 2017 legislative session shook out.

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2017 Legislative News, Week 10, March 13-17

Michelle Stennett

Expanding Medicaid

This Thursday, the Senate considered expanding Medicaid and accepting federal matching dollars to bridge the healthcare coverage gap. Approximately 78,000 Idahoans currently fall into this coverage gap, roughly 10,000 of which are our military veterans. Speaker Paul Ryan's AHCA still allows for states to expand Medicaid until 2020. Unfortunately, for the fourth year in a row, the legislature has refused to take action. The measure failed to pass, leaving thousands of Idahoans without healthcare coverage.

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2017 Legislative News, Week 9, March 6-10

Michelle Stennett

Madam President

This Tuesday I had the honor to serve as the President of the Senate for the first time. This is a position normally reserved for the Lt Governor, but work required his presence elsewhere. It was great to be on the other side of the gavel for a day routing bills through the legislative process!

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2017 Legislative News, Week 8, February 27- March 3

Michelle Stennett

Article V Constitutional Convention Resolution Fails

This Wednesday, after 2 hours of debate, we voted 11-24 against the resolution calling for an Article V Constitutional Convention.  SCR 108 called for Idaho to join the convention solely for the purpose of passing a balanced budget amendment. While I do think this merits consideration, nine other states who were calling for the balanced budget were also calling for other amendments. There's simply no way to guarantee a single issue convention.

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2017 Legislative News, Week Seven, February 20-24

Michelle Stennett

"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." - President Abraham Lincoln

 Constitutional Convention

Friday morning in the Senate State Affairs Committee we passed the resolution calling for a constitutional convention to create a balanced budget amendment by a 5-4 vote. I voted no. We had a large turnout and had overwhelming opposition by those who testified.

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2017 Legislative News, Week Six, February 13-17

Michelle Stennett

Great Turnout at Town Halls!

We had our annual legislative district tour last weekend and we had record turnouts! I love seeing our community engage on issues that matter most and we had so many excellent conversations. Several of you asked how you can keep track of bills as they work through the legislative process. You can click here to visit the legislative bill center, which will tell you exactly what a bill says, who the sponsors are, where a bill sits at any given time, and our voting records.

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2017 Legislative News, Week Five, February 6-10

Michelle Stennett

"For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself." - Galatians 5:14

District Tour

We kicked off our legislative district tour last night in Ketchum and had a great turnout. I am always so pleased to see our community members engage on issues that matter most. We'll continue the tour through the rest of our district today (February 11). Please join us:

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2017 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK FOUR, JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 3

Michelle Stennett

"Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one." - Thomas Perez

Workforce Development

I am honored to be one of the two legislators appointed to Governor Otter's Workforce Development Task Force. The task force is charged with studying ways to improve Idaho's funding and delivery of training programs to meet growing employer demand for skilled workers. Our recommendations are due by July 1st so our work is cut out for us. I'm pleased to be part of an effort that grows opportunities for Idahoans and helps them be competitive in a complex economy. 

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2017 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK THREE, JANUARY 23-27

Michelle Stennett

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi

I had the honor of sponsoring Ketchum's own former Rep. Wendy Jaquet on the Senate floor to confirm her reappointment to the State Board of Health and Welfare. Wendy is a dear friend and I know she will continue to serve us well on the board.

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2017 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK TWO, JANUARY 16-20

Michelle Stennett

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." -Henry Ford

Yesterday we inaugurated a new President of the United States. I know some have felt divided, some have felt more united than ever, but my job in our state's capitol is to be a voice of reason when I represent the values of all my constituents. And so my work continues, and my responsibility to Idahoans and The Constitution serve as my sense of purpose.

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2017 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK ONE, JANUARY 9-13

Michelle Stennett

Education and the Economy

In Governor Otter’s State of the State address, education continues to be the top priority. His education budget includes $104,200,000 in funding for recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force for improving education. This funding is the third year of the 5-year funding K-12 plan which includes $58,000,000 for the career ladder for certified instructional employees and pupil service staff.  Unfortunately, pre-K or early learning was not mentioned.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK EIGHT, Feb. 29-Mar. 4

Michelle Stennett

The so-called public nuisance bill passed my Resources and Environment committee and heads to the floor where passage is likely. S1338 asks the state to codify a soapbox for a single county official to "demand" action from federal land managers. The two county commissioners who testified indicated they would immediately sue if their demands weren't met. This crosses the line of constitutionality and opens us up to costly legal battles. While the legislature works to strip local control over wages and plastic bags, this bill would give unilateral authority to one rogue official to engage in hostile interactions with federal officials. Collaboration is the method we should continue to pursue as Idaho has led the way on improving land management by engaging all stakeholders to secure the greatest good.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK SEVEN, Feb. 22-26

Michelle Stennett

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is the classic tale of two children confronting the harsh realities of racism on their way to adulthood. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Harper Lee, who passed away last week. Destined to become a classic, "All the Light We Cannot See" also takes us along on the journey of two young people against the harsh landscape of WWII. Last year, Anthony Doerr became the first Idaho-based author to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. On Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed a concurrent resolution which honors the Boise-based author, a source of pride for our state.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK SIX, Feb. 15-19

Michelle Stennett

Thank you to everyone who took the time to show up for the Town Hall meetings held throughout District 26 last weekend. The turnout was great, especially for a holiday weekend, and the questions and comments were thoughtful and showed a great commitment to keeping the public in public policy. It confirms my belief that government works best when everyone is paying attention and doing their part.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK TWO, Jan 18-22

Michelle Stennett

On Monday, we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His eloquent message of peace and justice rang throughout the statehouse. I hope we can maintain respectful debate in the face of new legislation restricting voter participation, to which Dr. King dedicated himself, and regulations that threaten the health of the public we were sent here to serve.

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