Legislative News, End of Session, 2014
Thursday marked the end of the 2014 legislative session, the shortest in a decade. When you gave me the honor of serving you in the Idaho Senate, I promised to work hard, to lead with integrity, and to always be guided by the needs of Idaho's children, families and businesses. I am also honored to represent the fine Democratic senators as their Minority Leader and I'm proud of the accomplishments our team made this year despite the issues Idahoans value most - education, economic opportunity and access to quality healthcare - being buried under election-year posturing.
Filtering by Category: Legislative Session 2014
Legislative News, End of Session, 2014
Legislative News, WEEK TEN, March 10-14, 2014
At the close of Week Ten, it is difficult to cover every topic that warrants discussion so I will focus on actions that impact the most citizens or specifically those living in District 26. Reporter Betsy Russell does an amazing job of covering the legislature and I recommend her blog.
Legislative News, WEEK NINE, March 3-7, 2014
Week Nine of the legislative session provides an excellent opportunity to review the status of education-related legislation.
At the start of the session, Governor Otter declared "my highest priority remains public schools." He called for a 2.9% overall funding increase with zero invested toward increased pay for teachers.Read More
Legislative News, WEEK EIGHT, February 24-28, 2014
The pace is break-neck in Week Eight. Perhaps in an effort to meet the majority leadership's goal of conducting a short session, bills are coming before us at a speed that makes thoughtful consideration challenging.
Among the many measures are a slew of water-related bills which often arise at this point in the session and several of which directly impact residents in District 26. I can only detail a couple but would point you to House bills 390, 392, 410, 412 and 479 for further review.Read More
Legislative News, WEEK SEVEN, February 17-21, 2014
This Week Seven newsletter starts with another Olympic-sized congratulations to one of our own. U.S. Women's Hockey team star forward, and Sun Valley resident, Hilary Knight won her second silver medal yesterday. I highlighted gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington last week but need to correct her mother's name which is Suz Locke. These Olympians represent Idaho beautifully and it's important to recognize the sacrifices made by these athletes and their families in order to achieve world-class success. As such, I've requested proclamations from the governor's office and resolutions from the legislature acknowledging their accomplishments.
Legislative News, WEEK SIX, February 10-14, 2014
Congratulations to Kaitlyn Farrington for winning the gold medal in the halfpipe at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi this week! Here is a wonderful profile of Kaitlyn and her parents Gary and Suz Farrington of Bellevue. You have made Idaho so proud.
Legislative News, WEEK FIVE, February 3-7, 2014
There was such excitement in the Capitol this week that it made national news. The perspective can be quite different from inside the building and I'd like to review several issues - from those that got widespread attention to those that should get more...
Legislative News, WEEK FOUR, January 27-31, 2014
Here is an update of issues and actions I'd like to highlight as week four of the Idaho Legislative session comes to a close.
In my previous newsletter, I mentioned a proposal by Speaker of the House Scott Bedke that would shift savings from ending the grocery tax credit for the majority of Idahoans to lower taxes for upper-income individuals and businesses. Economic analysis of the tax shift indicated it would negatively impact middle-class families. This week, Speaker Bedke pulled his bill from consideration.Read More
Legislative News, WEEK THREE, January 20-24, 2014
Week three in the Idaho Legislature and there is no question that the pace this year is heightened in an effort to meet the stated goal of conducting a short session.
In last week's newsletter, I touched on several important rankings that indicate Idaho is falling behind in critical areas that undermine our ability to compete nationally, or even regionally. These measurements are not just numbers on a page. They represent conscious choices by our state government and they are a very real reflection of the priorities and values of our elected leaders.Read More
Legislative News, WEEK TWO, January 13-17, 2014
It's only week two of the 2014 legislative session and already there is much news and activity to report.
First and foremost, a video was released this week of Hailey's own Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who has been held in captivity since June 30, 2009. My prayers go to Bowe, who has suffered beyond our imaginings, that he be given support as he maintains his heroic endurance. My heart goes out to Jani and Bob Bergdahl who are always in my thoughts and sympathies. My thanks go to Senator Mike Crapo for his ongoing involvement in working to secure Bowe's release. Please join me in encouraging our federal officials, from Sen. Crapo to Congressman Mike Simpson to the State Department, to continuously redouble efforts to engage Bowe's captors and negotiate his safe release. Here is a link for contacting Idaho's congressional delegation or you can call the U.S. Department of State at (703) 545-6700 and ask for Public Affairs.Read More
Legislative News, WEEK ONE, January 6-10, 2014
Greetings from the Statehouse! Our first week exploded with news about what will and won't be addressed this session following the Governor's State of the State and Budget address on Monday.
The Governor made a surprising announcement that the state will soon take over operation of the Idaho Correctional Center, the privately-operated state prison south of Boise plagued by lawsuits and scandals over inmate violence and prison staffing.Read More