The legislature is back after a two-week recess. The recess occurred because of a sharp hike in positive cases in the capitol. In order to keep the public, legislators and staff safe, leadership decided to come back April 6. Though this wasn’t necessarily what I had in mind, I am ready to get my boots back on the ground to work for the people of District 18.
As we are coming back, I am prioritizing:
(1) property taxes,
(2) transportation funding, and
(3) education funding.
I’m pushing for these issues to further advance our economy and to support the working families of Idaho. I look forward to tackling issues like full-day kindergarten and addressing property tax issues.
This week there were a few disappointing votes that came out of the body. Polling shows by far that Idahoans are in favor of educational funding. That is why it is so disappointing to see that legislators rejected Senate-approved bill S 1179 because it did not cut higher-education spending enough (the budget already being cut $409,000). The reason behind this vote were accusations about social justice “indoctrination.” It is unfortunate that the legislators that voted against this budget felt that it was okay to hold the budget hostage, threatening students as well as administrators, instead of taking an alternate course of action.
This week also brought a tightening of your constitutional rights. The body voted in favor of S 1110 which makes it nearly impossible for a citizen ballot initiative to pass without very deep pockets. The bill requires signatures collected from all 35 districts of Idaho, making this state the most difficult state in the nation in which to get a ballot initiative to the people, let alone having the initiative pass during the election. The ballot initiative process is a sacred right of the people enumerated in the constitution; it is one of the avenues that the People can take to express their voice.