You, the Idaho Citizen

Print Article

Last Wednesday marked the end of the 2017 Idaho Legislative Session. While many important items were left off the table and not discussed, Idaho Democrats continued to push the issues that matter most to Idahoans with reasonable and sensible legislation. And finally, you, the Idaho citizen, became the most important part of the conversation again.

Our Idaho Democrats work hard to find partners for responsible, pro-business, pro-family, pro-Idaho policy. When the public shows up in force to affirm their support for issues that Idaho Democrats are championing, it gives moderate Republicans the courage they need to buck their party and do what's right. And when Idaho Democrats and the broader progressive community show up to the Capitol to protest ridiculous and hurtful Republican policies — it makes a difference.

In Jan., over 6,000 people showed up at the Women's March in Boise. Sister rallies from Sandpoint to Stanley to Idaho Falls brought out thousands more. Idaho's conservation community turned out thousands to say, “Idaho is not for sale.” Hundreds showed up to testify against the call for a Constitutional Convention. Overflow rooms were opened when you, the Idaho citizen, showed support for the most marginalized members of our community. Look in the mirror. You're making change happen.

Idaho Democratic legislators continued to make themselves a meaningful part of the conversation. They brought their own bills, worked with Republicans on others, and provided key votes that helped pass legislation to keep Idaho on track. Even when they were denied a hearing they didn't stop working. Denied a committee hearing on her climate change bill, Representative Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) held the largest public hearing this session with over 600 people showing up at the Capitol to listen to professionals and experts.

Our legislators worked across the aisle and received bipartisan support for moderate sensible legislation. Representative Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise) continues to change the conversation about sexual assault reporting in Idaho. This year's legislation sets statewide standards for the storage and retention of sexual assault kits. This will help address the issue of evidence preservation for sexual assault cases and create a transparent and accessible system for reporting.

Idaho Democratic legislators worked hard on policy even if it took all session to get a print hearing. Rep. Sally Toone (D-Gooding) brought legislation that would encourage qualified teachers to work in rural school districts through a student loan forgiveness program. Teachers at these schools will be eligible for up to $12,000 in student loan forgiveness over four years of service. Rural school districts struggle every school year to find qualified teachers to fill their classrooms, and this program would help recruit and retain teachers in our communities that need it the most. Rep. Toone will bring this bill back next legislative session.

So this year, you can see that Idahoans managed to persuade Republicans to do the right thing more often. You, the Idaho citizen, persuaded Republicans to continue to make Idaho more competitive for hiring and retaining teachers. You, the Idaho citizen, moved them to kill the absurd bill that would have exempt state legislators from public records requests. You, the Idaho citizen, urged them to reject the legislation that would have profiled members of your community and made us all less safe. You, the Idaho citizen, convinced them that you are a force to be reckoned with. You, the Idaho citizen,are the best thing about what's happening right now in Idaho politics.

Bert Marley is the Chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party. Bert is a former state legislator from McCammon and a longtime educator.

Print Article

Read More Opinion

Fond memories of Bonners Ferry

December 20, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Dear Friends, Iím taking the easy way out. I donít like goodbyes- love the hugs but donít like the tears- I have shed too many of them already in my life time. Roy and I moved to Bonners Ferry in 1...

Comments

Read More

Letter to the Editor: Response to Eric Dante Sentencing

December 13, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald TRIAL: Blaming the victim is pretty low I think it was pretty low of Eric Danteís defense to try to say Jesseka Musson was the abuser in the final hour. They claim she was a biker, and bikers were...

Comments

Read More

Letter to the Editor: Life goes too fast

December 13, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BUSY: Life goes too fast; breathe! My friend Beth was the first one to bring the concept to my attention that life is going too fast. She said there are no pauses. My sister Barb has a different ...

Comments

Read More

Letter to the Editor

November 22, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald AMBULANCE: BVA a strong foundation Last weekís article in the Herald on the Boundary County Ambulance, the paramedics, EMTs, drivers and staff was a great read. It is good to recognize that organi...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 267-5521
Po Box 539
Bonners Ferry, Id 83805

©2019 Bonners Ferry Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X