Improving Behavioral Health
Caucus members are working to improve access to behavioral health in Idaho. They gathered Wednesday with Governor Brad Little and Idaho Supreme Court Justices to sign documents establishing and supporting the Idaho Behavioral Health Council. The Council is a new three-branch approach to helping Idahoans with mental health and substance use disorders.
The 13-member Council will develop a statewide plan alongside local government, educators, and community partners that will improve access to care.
Remembering Those We Lost
The gallery was filled on Presidents’ Day, as those of us in the House of Representatives remembered our fellow legislators who passed away over this past year. We bid farewell to these great men and women:
Carlos Bilbao – Canyon & Gem 2005-2012
David Walker Bivens – Ada 1993-1998
Marty Hartung – Payette & Washington 1987-1989
Twila L Hornbeck – Adams, Boise, Gem, Idaho & Valley 1995-2002
Marguerite McLaughlin – Clearwater, Latah, Nez Perce 1979-1982
Milton Peter Nielsen – Boise & Elmore 2002-2016
Robert Ernest Schaefer – Canyon 1985-2012
Donna Faye Scott – Twin Falls 1983-1986
Mary Kathleen Sims – Kootenai 2010-2016
Harry Brose Turner – Twin Falls 1957-1964
We thank them for their service to our state, and they will be missed.
Representative Wendy Horman was there on Thursday, as the newly restored Idaho Constitution was unveiled! This document guides all of the decisions we make in the Statehouse, and it’s wonderful to see it brought back to its original beauty. We take great pride in safeguarding its principles, as it safeguards the rights of Idahoans.
On Thursday morning, tune in to KBOI radio! Representative James Holtzclaw will be on with Mike Kasper and Chris Walton between 8:30 am and 9:00 am. As always, thanks for listening!
More Member Legislation
Ensuring Your Representation
A constitutional amendment to ensure your representation in the Statehouse and keep legislative districts smaller sailed through the House of Representatives on Tuesday with a 65-3 vote. House Joint Resolution 4 would freeze the number of legislative districts at 35.
There have been 35 legislative districts in Idaho for more than three decades, but the State Constitution allows as few as 30. Speaker of the House Scott Bedke explained how it would be tougher for people to connect with their legislators.
“Just doing the math, we all would represent more citizens and then you as a citizen would have less access to your legislator,” Bedke said.
HJR4 is co-sponsored by all four members of House Republican Caucus Leadership. It now heads to the Senate, where it would require supermajority support to get on the November ballot.
Maintaining Public Shooting Ranges
Legislation to maintain and promote Idaho public shooting ranges passed the full House on Thursday. Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy’s House Bill 396 would establish public shooting ranges as an appropriate use for Idaho Department of Fish and Game lands and direct it to work with local agencies, clubs, and associations to develop new ranges or move existing ranges.
We’re helping Idaho students become more engaged, informed citizens. Senate Bill 1238, which was sponsored on the House floor by Representative Gayann DeMordaunt, is on its way to the Governor’s desk. Current law requires students to pass a civics test before they graduate from high school. This bill expands that law so that a college-credit-bearing exam associated with an advanced civics course can serve as a way of meeting the requirement. The bill also emphasizes the importance of providing high-quality teacher training by targeting professional development dollars for teachers to be trained in civics education instruction.
Getting Your Car Back
We’re making it easier to get your car back after it’s towed. House Bill 411, sponsored by Representative Jim Addis, would provide timely notification to lienholders when a vehicle has been towed, stored or impounded, and not recovered by the owner within 72 hours. This will allow the lienholder to work proactively with the owner to resolve payment to get their car back quickly and avoid overly burdensome fees. The legislation received unanimous support from the full House on Monday and is now in the Senate.
You can learn more about new legislation as it’s being introduced by our caucus members by following any of the House committee agendas that can be found at the link below.