Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
Last Week of the Legislature
This is promised to be the last week of this legislative session for 2022. This is a very hectic time, as you can imagine. Everybody trying to get their last-minute bill passed, or their 11th hour funding idea heard. You can’t imagine some of the ideas to spend money that I have heard, as vice chair of JFAC. I will not list here to protect the guilty…but let’s just say this is a very creative bunch. And I’m not a popular fellow, by always saying NO!
A bill that will help our area was signed into law last week. It will include $200 million for local bridges, including $10 million to build out a road at the Port of Lewiston. This bill will clear out a back log of 1/3 of our deficient bridges. You may remember that half of our state bridges are beyond their life expectancy. This will help us catch up.
An additional $200 million will be passed to fund ongoing maintenance problems with our local and state highways. Idaho County has the largest number of highway districts in the state, so this money will help them a lot.
Health and Emergencies
Last week, the Senate passed a bill that will make it illegal for Idaho businesses to require Covid vaccinations. Hopefully, this will be an answer for those of you who have battled these requirements for so long. As you can imagine, this was a hotly contested issue. I supported the legislation.
In other health-related news, Governor Little will lift the statewide public health emergency on April 15. Every single state had one of these in place, and dozens still do. Many of you have been adamant that this has been a bad decision to have in place, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars that it saved the state. I understand the frustration and I, too, am glad to see this set aside. People will feel much less restricted.
I attended two Lincoln Days this past weekend. One in Greencreek and one in Orofino. Both counties had large and enthusiastic crowds of conservative Republicans. There was no shortage of candidates touting their virtues at each event. I will miss the Clearwater County folks, as I move on to my new District 7. But for those of you there, don’t lose my number! I will look forward to helping you, even with additional responsibilities.
I will be attending Lincoln Days in Nez Perce County and Adams County in the days ahead!
The seemingly never-ending task of getting education legislation passed will be accomplished this week…I think! The two attempts at solving our third grade reading scores will be passed. The bill about the reading disorder, known as Dyslexia, will finally be getting some help with my legislation. The optional assistance for literacy/kindergarten will be passed in some form, as well. These are two things that may help level the playing field for our rural kids.