All of the committees are reviewing the existing and changes to rules and procedures.  There are bill presentations being given in order move the bill forward (to get a print hearing). I will let you know which bills will be going before committees in my future newsletters, but be proactive by tapping on one of the Committees pictures here, then click on a committee (for example agriculture). That will bring up the committee’s agenda, which you can click on to see what will be discussed that day.

Business in the Senate Chambers has been short, sweet, and upbeat.  We have mostly been voting on gubernatorial nominees for various government positions.  Once approved, these appointees by the Governor then go before the committee that their agency falls under for an interview and questions.  Finally, the nominee is recommended to the Senate floor to be voted on for approval to the position.


The Senate Education Committee will be the committee to watch this session.  As noted in the Governor’s bill H0019,

“This bill expands the existing Idaho Launch program to high school graduates starting with the class of 2024. Eligible graduates can receive a grant of $8,500 to be redeemed at the workforce training provider, career technical program, community college, or college of their choice. Preference will be given to students pursuing in-demand careers based on job market data.”

Representative Blanksma is carrying this bill in the house.  There have already been some shenanigans with this bill, in my opinion.  Representative Blanksma is trying to avoid having this go through the education committee; she lobbied hard for it to go through the Commerce and Human Resources committee instead.  This was not allowed by Speaker of the Idaho House Mike Moyle. It will be heard in the Education Committee, as it should be.  Question is: why would she work so hard to bypass the education committee, when this clearly is all about education?

Another bill that is on the battlefront is Senator Nichol’s Education Savings Account bill.  There has already been a struggle to get it past the Chairman to get a print hearing. The Chairman has stated that he’ll be “raked over the coals,” if he allows it to be heard, but he wouldn’t elaborate upon who would be doing the raking.  Guess we will see how this plays out.  Who wouldn’t want a bill that gives parents more options for their children?  Are we not all about protecting our children and giving them the very best education?  Everything concerning our education should be brought to debate! That’s the best path for our children.  Chairman Lent later promised a print hearing on Tuesday, January 31st at 3:00pm.

On Thursday the education committee saw a sizable Idaho State Police presence, along with Senate Pro Tem. Chuck Winder in the front row. I attended the meeting as soon as my meeting in Health & Welfare was adjourned.  My immediate thought was, “is this for their protection or for intimidation?” When sharing all the events with my husband Tom he said he believed it was for intimidation. He attended the Capitol Clarity meeting earlier in the day, where Senator Scott Herndon reminded his audience that it is the job of the Chairman to facilitate the will of the committee. Senator Herndon also said that if anyone in the Capitol Clarity audience wanted to witness how this works, they should attend the education committee meeting. You can watch the meeting here, and form your own opinion. Senator Herndon’s piece starts at the 44 minute mark.

I encourage you to listen to the entire video on the Red flag bill being introduced this year.

There are many legislators fighting for you and your children, but we need all of you to help us! As Senator Brian Lenney shared in a radio interview earlier this week, “this is a spiritual battle in the political realm.”


Health and Welfare

This week we there was a joint committee hearing on Medicaid expansion. Expanded it has!  The Health &Welfare committees in the House and Senate must give recommendations to keep or repeal the expansion.

Medicaid expansion was projected to cost about $850 million in its first two full years. Now it is projected to cost about $1.65 billion.  Most of us in 2018 knew this program would be expansive and expensive.

I will share some of the data I have been given; I encourage you to look it over and share your recommendations with me so I can pass them on.

Click on all the links for a deeper dive!

Other Areas of Interest 

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Matthew 6:24 (ESV)

Prayer Requests

  • That God will reveal corruption, deceit and lies
  • That Legislators will have the courage to vote against big government and bigger spending.
  • For protection for our children in every matter
    “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
     Matthew 18:6
  • Citizens will be engaged in their government
  • Health and safety for everyone
  • That the hearts of men and women will not grow cold because of lawlessness.
    And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
    – Matthew 24:10-14

David’s Desk

For many of us living in the Magic Valley the Lava Ridge Wind project has been a hot topic issue.  There is an overwhelming consensus the local population that they do not want the project moving forward in our backyard.

Recently Senator Ron Taylor (D) from legislative district 26 held a meeting with Magic Valley Energy (MVE).  He invited Senator Glenneda Zuiderveld and me to attend and participate in the meeting.  Many important and relevant questions were asked.

Senator Taylor asked why other states like California aren’t using their natural resources like wave electric generation, but instead relying on states like Idaho to import their energy needs.

Senator Zuiderveld asked a unique question which took MVE off guard.  She asked how MVE and their parent company (LS Power) was able to get this project fast tracked while there is a need for a third bridge to be built over the canyon connecting I-84 with Highway 93.  MVE was not sure how to answer that question.

Towards the end of the meeting Senator Taylor and Senator Zuiderveld told MVE that they have not received any positive input from their constituency and neither Senators would be supporting the project.

The public currently has a finite amount of time to submit their feedback to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  I would encourage each of you to look at the BLM environmental impact statement and submit your public comments.

Information on the project can be found on the left side of the page under the “Documents” tab.

To submit your public comment, select the “Participate Now” tab and follow the instructions.
– David Leavitt