Celebrate Ag in Idaho!
As our session begins to wind down I took the opportunity to spend a few daylight hours in Nampa visiting with constituents. On Wednesday I attended the Mayor’s State of the City Address at Columbia High School. It was great to hear that Nampa is doing such good things and continues to support a strong foundation that will allow us to build on an even brighter future. Then Thursday morning, bright and early, I attended the Nampa Chamber’s Legislative coffee gathering alongside my fellow legislators. I appreciate the Chamber for its willingness to meet so early and talk with us about the issues. We have a dedicated Chamber in Nampa and the commitment of its membership shows. And finally, I spent the lunch hour with a great group of people who I consider friends from Nampa’s First United Methodist Church. I sure do hope that what I had to say didn’t ruin anyone’s lunch – it has been known to happen.
Back in the marble hallways of the Idaho Capitol, this continues to be a very busy place with last minute jockeying happening, even as I write this letter to you. Our going home legislation is clearly agreeing upon the method of implementation and funding of Medicaid Expansion. Other bills that are of importance to follow as we get to our final days this session are:
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
I would like to encourage you to log onto legislature.idaho.gov where you will find bills, committee recordings and live stream videos of our House and Senate floor sessions. I like hearing from you about important legislation, please continue to be involved so we can ensure good work is being completed by your legislature. Lastly, don't forget to connect with me on Facebook.
Idaho celebrates National Ag Day at the Capitol
This past week the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) celebrated National Ag Day at the Capitol. Legislators gathered together to celebrate the incredible productivity of Idaho’s farmers and ranchers. On the front steps of the Capitol, 165 place settings were displayed, representing the average number of people fed by one Idaho farmer every year. In 1940, the average farmer fed just 15 people annually. The ISDA sent a powerful message on how agriculture in Idaho has made tremendous strides. Idaho's agricultural industry contributed $7.3 billion to the state’s economy in 2017.
Invent Idaho Day at the Capitol
Invent Idaho Day was celebrated at the Capitol on Monday. On the fourth floor of the Capitol rotunda, students from around the Gem State displayed their award-winning inventions. Invent Idaho was established in 1989 for students in grades one through eight. It aims to encourage youth to solve real-life problems through creativity and innovation. With an emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, young inventors are encouraged to enter their best and brightest inventions to solve problems they see in the world. The award-winning inventions went through progressive levels of competitions, including three regional events held across the state, which culminated in the Invent Idaho State Finals. Winners will attend the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurial Expo in Dearborn, Michigan later this year. Click here to learn more about Invent Idaho.
Idaho Caregiver Alliance at the Capitol
On Tuesday, the Idaho Caregiver Alliance (ICA) held a luncheon for Legislators on the first floor of the Capitol rotunda. The mission of ICA is to advance the well-being of family caregivers by promoting collaboration that improves access to quality support and resources. The ICA provides a spectrum of support for anyone caring for family members or friends who have Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injuries, disabilities related to military service or special needs. Several groups were represented at this meet-and-greet, such as the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors, AARP of Idaho, the Idaho Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Blue Cross of Idaho. Click here for more information on the Idaho Caregiver Alliance.