"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
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.
A tax cut bill was presented by House Majority Leader Representative Mike Moyle (R-14) that reduces the corporate income tax from 7.4% to 7.2%. If passed, the bill
will reduce general fund revenues by approximately
$51.2 million, and the returns simply do not benefit a majority of Idahoans. The majority will receive between $4-$32 per household, and higher income earners will receive roughly $1,562 per household.
Reducing general fund revenues is particularly hurtful to our schools, doesn't address healthcare needs, and doesn't do anything to address our transportation infrastructure requirements. Additionally, we need to keep in mind potential flooding and wildfire emergencies.
|3-6 months of mussel growth in Lake Mead|
Quagga and Zebra Mussels are invasive species that have choked lakes and rivers, imperiled native species and overwhelmed everything from hydropower intakes, agriculture pipelines, reservoirs, and boats. In the west they are found in states like Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and California, but not yet in Idaho, Washington, or Oregon. Our district's economy is heavily reliant upon agriculture and recreation, so the impending introduction of mussels in Idaho is of great concern. I am part of a bipartisan group working on a bill to implement the recommendations of the Invasive Species Working Group. Invasive species are a critical threat to our economy and way of life, and we are making every effort to prevent their entry into Idaho.
We saw some particularly egregious legislation in the House this week including what is known as the "anti-immigration bill". The bill
requires law enforcement, at their own discretion, to question the citizenship status of individuals they arrest. Agribusiness is Idaho's largest industry and it relies heavily on many of these individuals as its workforce. This bill harms Idaho families and rural communities, and deeply impacts Idaho's economy. It is government sanctioned profiling, and I am opposed to its passage.
District Tour Dates
Next weekend, Rep. Sally Toone and I will host our district tour. Here are the locations and dates:
Feb. 10 5:30 p.m. - Ketchum City Hall
Feb. 11 8:00 a.m. - Bellevue's Oak Street Café & Deli
10:30 a.m. - Shoshone Community Center
12:00 p.m. - Gooding's Lincoln Inn
2:00 p.m. - Wendell City Hall
4:00 p.m. - Hagerman City Hall