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Boise, ID 83720-0081

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Boise Idaho Senator Michelle Stennett, Idaho State Senate Minority Leader

News Blog

2017 Legislative News, Week Six, February 13-17

Michelle Stennett

"The hand that destroys the Constitution renders our Union asunder for ever."

- Daniel Webster (1782-1852) Author, Lawyer and Patriot

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.

Constitutional Convention

You may have heard rumblings of an Article V Constitutional Convention to pass a balanced budget amendment. Our constitution allows for revision by means of a convention of states, which happens only if 34 states (2/3rds) agree to meet. There are currently 28 states that have passed resolutions calling for the convention, and there is pressure for Idaho to follow suit. While I do think a balanced budget merits urgent consideration, opening The Constitution has serious implications. In a Constitutional Convention, the scope is not limited to one subject - once the convention convenes, everything in The Constitution is fair game for amendment and deletion, conservative and progressive issues alike.

The Founding Fathers did phenomenal work in creating this lasting governing document and I don't consider it a wise move to cut it up, especially considering the polarized political climate we are living in.

Science Standards

Last week the House of Representatives voted to remove references to climate change and human impact on the environment from a new set of science standards. These standards are developed by a panel of experts from the Idaho Department of Education, the Idaho Board of Education, and public testimony. The rules are set to go before the Senate Education Committee next week. If you'd like to voice your concern, you can visit this page containing contact information for all Senate Education Committee members.


Current law prevents Idahoans on disability from saving more than $2,000. This means people on disability cannot save for critical quality of life measures like a wheelchair ramp, vital equipment maintenance, and dental care. Senator Grant Burgoyne's (D-16, Boise) ABLE Act bill allows people currently receiving disability benefits to set up ABLE accounts in other states. It also allocates funds for a part time employee to assist people in learning to use the accounts, and help determine what kind of account is needed. The bill has passed through the House and now awaits consideration in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.