Education Week at the Legislature
Senator Jeff Agenbroad - District 13 Newsletter
We’ve now completed week number three of the 2019 Legislative Session. The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) heard budget requests from both our public education system, K-12 as well as our higher education institutions. Dr. Bert Glandon, President of the College of Western Idaho, shared our local college’s success as well as the challenges he sees on the horizon. CWI continues to grow at a record pace and is the fastest growing of all community colleges in the history of United States. Dr. Glandon also touched on the success of the state’s dual credit offering, which allows Idaho’s high school students to earn college credits as part of their curriculum.
Idaho’s policy makers understand the importance of education to the future of our state. This commitment is demonstrated by spending over 50% of the state’s entire general fund budget on education. Despite this significant financial commitment we should always strive to do better. Our kids’ and Idaho’s future depends upon it.
Below are some recent activities. I hope you will enjoy the information. For more details, you can log onto legislature.idaho.gov where you will find bills, committee recordings and live stream videos of our House and Senate floor sessions. Also, don't forget to connect with me on Facebook. I look forward to your involvement. Have a nice weekend!
Stem Day at the Capitol
Idaho Legislators met with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) schools in the Capitol rotunda this week. STEM schools focus on early learning and development in a collaborative and project-based environment. STEM offers a hands-on approach to education with the objective to build critical thinkers, collaborators, and innovators with problem-solving capabilities. The goal of STEM is to create opportunities for educators, students, and communities to build a competitive Idaho work force and economy.
Where is Idaho on Medicaid expansion?
In 2018, Idaho voters decided to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Now that Medicaid expansion is set into law, many are asking about the next steps. Idaho’s legislature is working with stakeholders to determine how to implement the new law and how to budget the money necessary to meet the program’s cost obligations. Legislative leadership, members of the Health and Welfare Committees and members of the Joint Finance and Appropriation Committees are all playing a part in working with the Governor’s office to roll out the new voter-approved law. It is anticipated that coverage for the “gap” population will begin in January 2020.
INL Day at the Capitol Rotunda
Idaho Legislators joined the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) exhibitors in the Capitol rotunda to celebrate INL’s upcoming 70th anniversary of nuclear energy research and innovation in Idaho. In 1949, the Atomic Energy Commission chose the eastern Snake River Plain as its location for the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS) with the mission of understanding how to harness the power of the atom for peaceful purposes.
In 2017, President Trump signed a bill to authorize the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act, a program enabling the testing and demonstration of reactor concepts to be proposed and funded by the private sector. The goal of the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC) is to increase practical knowledge relevant to safety, security, resilience, and functionality of advanced nuclear reactor concepts. INL has strong ties to Idaho universities and works collaboratively with Idaho State University, Boise State University, and University of Idaho. Under the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), these collaborative efforts emphasize research, education, and innovation.
The INL plays an important part in Idaho’s economy and promotes Idaho as a leader in advanced technology research and product development.