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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

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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2017 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK TWO, JANUARY 16-20

Michelle Stennett

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." -Henry Ford

Yesterday we inaugurated a new President of the United States. I know some have felt divided, some have felt more united than ever, but my job in our state's capitol is to be a voice of reason when I represent the values of all my constituents. And so my work continues, and my responsibility to Idahoans and The Constitution serve as my sense of purpose.

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2017 LEGISLATIVE NEWS, WEEK ONE, JANUARY 9-13

Michelle Stennett

Education and the Economy

In Governor Otter’s State of the State address, education continues to be the top priority. His education budget includes $104,200,000 in funding for recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force for improving education. This funding is the third year of the 5-year funding K-12 plan which includes $58,000,000 for the career ladder for certified instructional employees and pupil service staff.  Unfortunately, pre-K or early learning was not mentioned.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK EIGHT, Feb. 29-Mar. 4

Michelle Stennett

The so-called public nuisance bill passed my Resources and Environment committee and heads to the floor where passage is likely. S1338 asks the state to codify a soapbox for a single county official to "demand" action from federal land managers. The two county commissioners who testified indicated they would immediately sue if their demands weren't met. This crosses the line of constitutionality and opens us up to costly legal battles. While the legislature works to strip local control over wages and plastic bags, this bill would give unilateral authority to one rogue official to engage in hostile interactions with federal officials. Collaboration is the method we should continue to pursue as Idaho has led the way on improving land management by engaging all stakeholders to secure the greatest good.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK SEVEN, Feb. 22-26

Michelle Stennett

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is the classic tale of two children confronting the harsh realities of racism on their way to adulthood. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Harper Lee, who passed away last week. Destined to become a classic, "All the Light We Cannot See" also takes us along on the journey of two young people against the harsh landscape of WWII. Last year, Anthony Doerr became the first Idaho-based author to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. On Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed a concurrent resolution which honors the Boise-based author, a source of pride for our state.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK SIX, Feb. 15-19

Michelle Stennett

Thank you to everyone who took the time to show up for the Town Hall meetings held throughout District 26 last weekend. The turnout was great, especially for a holiday weekend, and the questions and comments were thoughtful and showed a great commitment to keeping the public in public policy. It confirms my belief that government works best when everyone is paying attention and doing their part.

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2016 Legislative News, WEEK TWO, Jan 18-22

Michelle Stennett

On Monday, we celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His eloquent message of peace and justice rang throughout the statehouse. I hope we can maintain respectful debate in the face of new legislation restricting voter participation, to which Dr. King dedicated himself, and regulations that threaten the health of the public we were sent here to serve.

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Legislative News, END OF 2015 SESSION

Michelle Stennett

The Idaho Legislature adjourned on April 11th at 1:33 a.m. after 13 weeks in the Capitol. While it can be challenging to represent the diverse populations and interests of District 26, many of you expressed support for the most important issues confronting us this year. You wanted us to improve teacher compensation after too many years of low pay that ranked Idaho at the bottom. You asked us to extend Medicaid to cover uninsured workers and save taxpayers millions. You supported protecting access to public lands and upgrading roads and bridges to improve public safety and the movement of goods. While we may not have met all these goals, we did have some notable achievements and I wanted to share a recap of the 2015 legislative session from my vantage point.
 

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Legislative News, WEEK TWELVE, March 30-April 3, 2015

Michelle Stennett

Happy Easter!  The Senate will not be in session Friday and won't reconvene until Monday afternoon to allow for travel home over the weekend. It remains to be seen how next week will unfold, especially with the break in floor time, but there appears to be a commitment to address transportation funding, at least to some degree, before we adjourn for the year. That goal was complicated by actions taken this week in the Senate.
 

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Legislative News, WEEK ELEVEN, March 23-27, 2015

Michelle Stennett

The career ladder teacher funding legislation has passed both chambers by a wide margin (96 aye votes out of 105) and heads to the Governor for his preordained signature. Starting teacher salaries will rise from $31,750 to $32,700 in year one and to $44,375 by year five. The Idaho Education Association has an online salary allocation calculator for determining how the career ladder will impact individual teachers based on years of experience and levels of education.
 

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Legislative News, WEEK TEN, March 16-20, 2015

Michelle Stennett

It's the first day of Spring so it seems fitting that education legislation, namely the career ladder for funding teacher salaries, has come out of hibernation. 20 years of deep cuts to education funding devalued Idaho's teaching professionals and the critical role education plays in our economy. But today I'm happy to report that an arduous but highly collaborative negotiation process has led to a unanimous vote by the House Education Committee to send H296 to that chamber's floor with a "do pass" recommendation
 

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