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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

2018 END OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Michelle Stennett

Every Idahoan should have the opportunity to prosper, and our effort at the Legislature aims to address that goal. I was proud to see hard work and bipartisanship this legislative session. While we all come from different backgrounds, the positive relationships between Senators, Representatives, Democrats, and Republicans are what make the process run so smoothly and allows us to perform good work on behalf of our constituents. Here's a look at what happened this session:

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2018 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK 10, MAR 9-13

Michelle Stennett

Limiting Your Voice

HB 568 removes the referendum and initiative processes for land use issues. Traditionally, referenda have been used as a means for public input and due process on land use decisions by a board of county commissioners. While this process is rarely used, I do not believe in limiting opportunities for the public to engage on policy decisions. The bill passed the Senate this week and will soon move to the Governor for consideration.

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2018 Legislative News, Week 8, Feb 26-Mar 2

Michelle Stennett

On Tuesday, the Idaho House of Representatives voted to send HB 464, the Idaho Health Care Plan, back to the House Health and Welfare Committee. The bill is now dead and for the sixth year in a row, the legislature has failed to help the 78,000 Idahoans, thousands of whom are veterans, in the coverage gap. Sen. Maryanne Jordan’s bill, SB1224, calls for the Department of Health and Welfare to change their definition of Medicaid eligibility to include all individuals whose income is below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty level. The bill awaits hearing in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

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2018 Legislative News, Week 7, Feb 19-23

Michelle Stennett

This session, we’ve had a record low number of bills originate in the Senate, and record high number from the House. Once a bill passes through its chamber of origin, it must be considered in the other chamber. So, when the House has a high number of bills, our workload in the Senate tends to be much heavier in the latter part of the legislative session. Here’s an update on some legislation we’ve seen this past week:

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2018 Legislative News, Week 6, Feb 12-16

Michelle Stennett

Town Hall Recap – Education, Jobs, and Quality of Life

Education

Last weekend Rep. Sally Toone, Rep. Steve Miller, and I traveled the district and hosted 6 legislative town halls! We had great attendance and engaging questions from our community members in Ketchum, Bellevue, Fairfield, Gooding, Hagerman, and Shoshone. Our district was concerned with public education, particularly as it pertains to funding the career ladder and retaining qualified teachers for our students.

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2018 Legislative News, Week 5, Feb 5-9

Michelle Stennett

Last night we held our first town hall in a series of 6, and turnout was fantastic with some great questions! I hope you’ll join us at your local town hall today:

Today February 10:

Bellevue - Oak Street Deli - 8am

Fairfield - Senior Center - 10am

Gooding - Landr Inn - Noon

Hagerman - City Hall - 2pm

Shoshone - Community Center - 4pm

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2018 Legislative News, Week 4, Jan 29-Feb2

Michelle Stennett

Fighting for Families

We’re about to dive into the Fighting for Families Week of Action! We invite you to join in a conversation with members of the Idaho State Legislature, during the Fighting for Families Week of Action.  With your support we can more effectively advocate for policies that work for all Idaho families. Each day of Week of Action will feature an important family policy discussion, led by a member of your Idaho State Legislature. Following and joining these conversations is easy. Just click on this link to be routed to the host page. Here’s a schedule of events for the week:

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2018 Legislative News, Week 3, January 19-23

Michelle Stennett

Honoring Women

August 18, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the right to vote. I have the pleasure of cosponsoring a resolution to educate Idahoans and others through the country about their heritage and commemorate the centennial of the passage of this important milestone. This resolution seeks to support and encourage Idahoans to explore and appreciate the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

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2018 Legislative News, Week 2, Jan 15-19

Michelle Stennett

We just finished the second week of the legislative session, and for the most part, so far so good!  These first few weeks are filled with agency rules review and confirming the Governor’s appointments to public organizations. The task of reviewing and confirming gubernatorial appointments is reserved exclusively for the Senate. We take this role seriously, as these appointees are the individuals who will help implement the laws we pass in the legislature. It is important that they meet statutorial requirements and are well-qualified for their appointed positions.

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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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