Some good news…
I passed a bill including funding for the Idaho Foodbank. S 1199 passed the House on a 52-14 vote on April 19th and directed $3,600,000 from the COVID-19 Relief Fund for the Idaho Foodbank. It is so important to me to support the families of Idaho. This is one way we can help citizens get back on their feet, especially around such a difficult time. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 22.
Education, “Indoctrination” & Taxpayer expense:
Well, we have finally passed education budgets. Because of frenzied claims of social justice “indoctrination,” the passage of integral budgets was delayed. Because of those irresponsible claims, budgets have been sent back to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee to start from scratch which has made a 75-day session break 115 days. It has cut the budget for higher-ed 2.5 million dollars. It has held hostage salaries of public school teachers, as if they had not had a difficult year already. It has kept us from bringing a full-day kindergarten option to Idaho families. It has kept $6 million dollars of federal assistance money from going to Idaho pre-schools. Most of all, it has made the public lose faith in the legislature and has put our excellent educational institutions under undue scrutiny.
One more note:
Last Wednesday the 28th was a day set aside for an Ethics Committee hearing. The concern at hand was sexually improper conduct of a representative of the House.
The House Democratic Caucus issued this statement following the resignation of Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger:
“We are in awe of Jane Doe’s bravery in coming forward and testifying before the House Ethics Committee. We also applaud the other women who spoke during the hearing and shared their stories. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to make a report and participate in such a public process.
If we are to eliminate sexual assault and abuse, we must create an environment for safe, supportive reporting by survivors. We are deeply disappointed that at least one lawmaker, a journalist, and several audience members at the hearing sought to reveal Jane Doe’s identity and further traumatize her.
Our caucus is thankful for the committee’s due diligence in this matter, and know their recommendation was made after an exhaustive investigation and careful deliberations. We completely support their recommendation, as well as Rep. von Ehlinger’s decision to resign. However, we wish he would have done this before forcing Jane Doe and the other women to relive their experiences within the public sphere. His actions were inexcusable, and the behavior he displayed must not be tolerated here — or anywhere. We have to ensure individuals always remain accountable for their actions no matter their station.”