I had breakfast with nearly 200 4-H members from all over the state who were in town to learn the inner workings of state government. They spent last weekend at the Capitol in a mock legislative session.


As you may know, I am a former 4-Her and worked with 4-H kids for years. There are few programs better for kids than 4-H. The “learning by doing” concept of this program is some of the best education anywhere.

I had the opportunity to sit and visit with Chloe Rowland from Cottonwood and Brooke Romney from Kooskia and we were joined by former Idaho County 4-Her, Justice John Stegner of the Idaho Supreme Court.

It was great to see these two students and the others from around Idaho!

* Pictured from left to right, Justice John Stegner, formerly from Grangville, Chloe Rowland of Cottonwood and Brooke Romney of Kooskia

Prisons

I have been complaining about prisons in this newsletter to the point some of you have said enough! And you are right!

It’s easy to criticize, but hard to find answers. Prison costs are up astronomically because inmates keep going back to prison and the state has to incarcerate them. They tastefully call these, “population driven costs.”

Now for some hope. Idaho Corrections Director, Josh Tewalt, has proposed a novel program intended to stop the 75% to 80% of prisoners going back to prison, called Community Intervention. This new idea is intended for probationers and parolees who are now being dumped back in the communities they came from and often times straight back to the problems that landed them in prison in the first hand.

This new effort will provide these men and women with some help in finding houses, employment preparedness and help with substance abuse.

The cost to keep one person in custody is averaging at more than $30,000 per person. We must lower that number and one of the best ways to do that is to get them back in society instead of adding to the already over-crowded prison system again and again.

We will be watching!

Idaho Constitution

It was an honor to see the newly restored Idaho Constitution, along with Governor Brad Little. This document is the core of how I base each one of my decisions as your Senator from District 7. I take incredible pride in protecting this fine piece of work, as it protects the people of Idaho.

Idaho Schools Boards come to town

I had the opportunity to meet with Grangeville and Shoshone County School Board members.

From Grangeville I spoke with Rebecca Warden, Pam Reidlen and Brad Lutz. Pictured are Kellogg school government teacher Tori Sheppard, Superintendent Nancy Larsen, board member Alexa Griffin and Mullan Superintendent Les Wells.