March 16, 2016

Turning the Tide Against Widespread Financial Hardship

Financial hardship is everywhere in our state – and some places feel it more than others. That’s what we know from a new United Way study. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Legislation within our reach can give more Idahoans the opportunity to earn enough to meet their needs while strengthening the economy. That’s why I co-authored a …

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March 16, 2016

Budget Breakdown II: Higher Education

Numbers don’t lie. They paint a picture: people here are paying more for the opportunity to make better lives for themselves. There’s a lack of vision – unless that vision intends to deny hard-working people a fair shot at today’s jobs. That’s why we’re working hard to chart a different path forward. Here’s where higher education funding is today: Since 2009, we’ve …

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March 16, 2016

Outdoor Enthusiasts Deserve More Than Private Pheasant Hunts

Let’s call a spade a spade: public lands aren’t public when they’re sold – or leased for years at a time. This week, I advanced my resolution HCR 53 to the House floor, and it’s likely to pass the House on Friday.   It makes legislators’ intent clear: we’re “opposed to any proposals that bar Idaho hunters, anglers and trappers from accessing …

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March 8, 2016

Erpelding Boils Down the Budget

JFAC, the state’s budget committee, set a budget last week that provides K-12 schools with more resources—including much-needed investments in teachers’ pay and classroom technology. With a number of important education bills still in limbo, this budget isn’t complete – but even if these “trailer bills” are passed and funded, this budget will fall short of even the Governor’s recommendation, and even further from what …

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March 8, 2016

Ottercare Keeps Rising From the Dead

Last week, I attended yet another meeting about the Primary Care Access Program (PCAP). In this iteration, comparisons were made to two existing medical care programs undergoing reforms in Idaho. These programs receive significant federal support, and PCAP, commonly called “Ottercare”, relies on a wasteful $30 million in Idaho taxpayers’ dollars. The “Idaho solution” leaves those in the gap without protections against …

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