Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln

Your Voice When Out of Session

I was re-elected to the Legislative Council, which is considered to be the legislature when the full legislature is not in session.

We make decisions, but not laws, when the legislature is not in town. We worked on a number of issues to prepare for the legislative session. A couple of those topics were safety protocols and making the legislative session available online for people that are not able or willing to attend in person.

While asking for the support of my fellow Republican Senators, I stated, “I am an affable fellow when I can be, and hard-nosed when I have to be.”

Frankly, that’s how I try to run my life, and make decisions on your behalf.

Trip to Orofino

I took time away from my Senate responsibilities on Friday to make a quick trip to Orofino.

I  talked about health care and broadband issues in the area. I think these are two important issues for our area and state. Governor Little asked me to accompany him because I have been trying to push the broadband wagon for a long time in our District. I won’t stop pushing either.

First, we met with the folks at the hospital, led by Lenne Bonner and Sherri Kuther, as well as, Carol Mohrle of District Health in Lewiston. Hats off to Lenne and crew for getting the lion’s share of vaccines out the door in her area, compared to other regional outlets. What they have done is amazing, in view of the state’s less than stellar performance, to date. We should celebrate their efforts.

Then we headed to Ziply Fiber to talk with folks there about broadband. They have added 1838 fiber lines to the premise installations in Orofino, and 492 in Weippe. Inland Cellular added 178 installations in Elk River. There’s much more to do and I expect to find ways to add significant broadband installations throughout the district this year!

Senate Bill 101

The Senate passed a Resolution that you may have heard about. The Resolution calls for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit legalizing marijuana and other similar products. It is a tough call.

On one hand, we believe in personal freedoms and liberties without governmental limitations or interfence.

On the other hand, we must consider the impact personal choices have on society.

One of the things that stuck with me, as I listened to the information, was Colorado’s experience. Since their legalization, they have found that for every $1.00 they collect in sales of marijuana, it costs their state $4.50 for the social consequences. Let’s remember that “the state” is you, the taxpayer. State budgets matter. Taxpayer dollars matter. Long term consequences matter.

The Resolution will now go to the House. If they approve the idea, it will go to you, the voter to decide during the next election.