America now is stumbling through the darkness of hatred and divisiveness. Our values, our principles, and our determination to succeed as a free and democratic people will give us a torch to light the way. And we will survive and become the stronger – not only because of a patriotism that stands for love of country, but a patriotism that stands for love of people.

President Gerald R Ford

This legislative session is a gift that just won’t quit giving!

We are now a month past when we should have…could have been done. Wrangling over tax cuts continue. The transportation bill is not decided because it effects tax cuts. Education bill problems will be solved this week…more below! And all the bills restricting the power of the Governor have not been passed.

This lack of decision making is costing you about $38,000 per day. Tell your legislator to get out of town, and get back to the work of being a citizen! We are citizen legislators, not full-time legislators. Some are acting like they want to be like California, with its year-round sessions. Enough already!

Education Happenings

As you may know, the legislature is struggling to get the education budgets passed. There is a lot of concern about social justice being taught in schools, and something called critical race theory, as well. When writing these budget bills, I tried to include enough restrictions on these kinds of things to satisfy the legislature. But not quite enough was included for some because budget bills don’t usually get into policy. So, I was instructed by the co-chairs of finance committee to write a policy bill that would address these education problems.

After a long time, and many, many drafts, my friends in the House and I came up with a solution, now known as H377. This bill seeks to prohibit indoctrination of students. We want to teach our young people how to think, not what to think. It passed the House, and I will present it in the Senate this week, where it will pass. My work on this bill will allow all the other education bills to pass, therefore solving our log jam on those budgets. And it will get us one step closer to leaving Boise!

The, by now, infamous early childhood learning bill is a thing of the past. There are so many misunderstandings and misrepresentations of this bill, it had no chance of success even if it had passed. So, we are left with the same problem we had to start with: what do we do with the fact that our young people are increasingly unprepared for education when they arrive at the first grade. I have shared my position over and over again and I want to say this one last time: I supported a Trump administration grant to help families help their kids. I do not support indoctrination or leftist agendas.

We are still left needing solutions to help 60% of Idaho’s kids be ready for the first grade.

Wolves

Wolf management has been a never-ending problem in the west. No one can agree on a solution. Since reintroduction, there was a goal of limiting the wolf population to 150 statewide. We have now achieved a number that is over ten times the original goal. They are decimating game and domestic livestock at an alarming rate.  A bill passed the Senate, allowing year-round trapping and other means to help in solve this problem. Even the sponsor of this bill knows this will not get the population back to the agreed upon 150 wolves, but perhaps it will help.

Wolf depredation is a major problem in our area, for livestock producers and sportsmen alike.

 Pro-2nd Amendment Legislation Passed in the Senate

Legislators took additional steps to strengthen Idahoan’s 2nd Amendment rights on through Senate Bill 1205. Also known as the Idaho Firearm and Firearm Accessories and Components Protection Act.  The bill responds to recent federal executive orders on gun control by prohibiting enforcement or support for these federal orders from Idaho’s government entities. Senators passed SB1205 with a vote of 28-7. It was subsequently introduced to the House and referred to the House State Affairs Committee. Many of my constituents tracked this bill and are appreciative of my support for it.