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:
Monday, 9AM, Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act / Idaho Initiatives
Tuesday, 3PM, Fighting for Fair Jobs and Opportunities / Corporate Welfare Impact on Idaho
Wednesday, 9AM, Fighting for Family Paychecks / Idaho Wage Theft
Thursday, 3PM, Fighting for Working People / Minimum Wage for Idahoans
Friday, 3PM, Fighting for Family’s Health and Security / Medicaid Expansion in Idaho
Governor Slashing Away
The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) is looking at a surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars, based on a budget recommended by the Governor. However, his budget
proposes swift cuts to nearly every college and university program across the state, and, unfortunately, the same goes for many health and human services, including mental health. Additionally, there’s no attempt to address the $300 million deficit in maintenance for our roads and bridges, and there’s a proposal to provide roughly $200 million in income tax cuts. This is surprising, considering the recent Public Policy Survey findings that 62.6% of Idahoans think they’re being taxed about right, and nearly 78% said to keep the state budget the same or increase it.
While I support giving money back to hard working Idahoans through tax cuts, there are ways to do it responsibly without hamstringing our healthcare programs, postsecondary options, and infrastructure needs. Several programs remain unfunded from tightening our belts during the recession, education remains underfunded, and Idaho’s suicide rate is currently the fifth-highest in the nation. This is not the time to be slashing critical programs designed to improve your quality of life, keep you safe, and give you access to better paying jobs.
Stand Your Ground
This week the House State Affairs Committee voted to print HB410 which is commonly referred to as the “Stand Your Ground” bill. Many of you have expressed concern regarding the fate of this legislation. In my view, Idaho’s self-defense laws and property laws are some of the best in the nation and already allow adequate opportunity for citizens to protect their families and property. Additionally, a study by researchers at Texas A&M University showed that states enacting stand your ground legislation experience an eight percent increase in homicides, but no measurable reduction in property crimes.
Office of Inspector General
I am sponsoring a bill to create an Office of the Inspector General for the state of Idaho. Given our current national climate I feel its creation and mission will be timelier than ever. The bill will create an official avenue for citizens to complain and whistleblow based on fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption violations, while also acting as a mechanism to detect and deter the same. Per the legislation, the Inspector General will serve a 6-year term appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, can only be removed from office based on concurrent agreement between the Senate and the Governor, and will work closely with the Attorney General and law enforcement. Similar to current ethics practices in the Idaho State Legislature, filed complaints will remain confidential unless actionable findings are discovered.
Upcoming Town Halls
Our Town Halls are coming soon! Here's a schedule of when and where we'll be:
Ketchum - City Hall - 6pm
Bellevue - Oak Street Deli - 8am
Fairfield - Senior Center - 10am
Gooding - Landr Inn - Noon
Hagerman - City Hall - 2pm
Shoshone - Community Center - 4pm
e look forward to seeing you there!