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End of Session Letter

"And so it is and so I let it be."

- Unknown

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are greatly honored to represent District 19 and proud to continue to work for you, our constituents. It has been enlightening to communicate with you, to hear your priorities and concerns during town halls, through email and at the many events taking place around the state.

Idaho Democrats have worked diligently this year and have celebrated many successes, including the release of our Creating Opportunity Plan, developed under the leadership of Representative Mat Erpelding. This plan outlines principles and legislative goals designed to help Idaho prosper. It focuses on investing in education, boosting our economy, balancing government, maintaining transparency, and protecting our quality of life.

 

Criminal Justice and Public Defense

Following three years of research, development and collaboration, we have completed a robust rework of Criminal Justice and Public Defense systems. Your District 19 legislators played a key role in each of these arenas as well as in the area of protecting public safety. We sponsored and co-sponsored legislation to support our stated goals: HB 528 ensures forensic evidence collected from sexual assault victims is tested in a timely manner. HB 429 adds incentive for certain low-level offenders to enter and complete problem-solving court programs, thereby saving money and helping to reduce recidivism, HB 504 authorizes the Public Defense Commission to adopt and require compliance with new indigent defense standards and supported SB 1373, anti-stalking legislation which allows victims of stalking and harassment to obtain civil protection orders.

Education

Team 19 built on last year's accomplishments in education with HB 477, encouraging Idaho's high school students to attend post-secondary schools in Idaho, enter a post-secondary field of study and take rigorous courses while still in high school. The passage of HB 458a further streamlines and simplifies the process by which Idaho high school students earn college credit. Another win is the passage of SB 1333, which creates the Broadband Infrastructure Investment Grant Fund, and supports investment to school districts that are desperately in need of expanding internet access. As always, we will continue to ensure that Education is a high priority.

Health and Human Services

This session we sought to give all Idahoans greater control over their lives. This included sponsorship of HB 481, the "Right to Try" bill that gives a terminally ill patient access to investigational treatments. Additionally we championed the approval of two new mental health crisis centers to be located in the Boise area and Magic Valley. The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) also approved funding to expand Idaho's suicide prevention program. All positive steps for our friends, families and neighbors.

We worked tirelessly to pass quality legislation that enriches the lives of the people of Idaho and District 19. This includes sponsoring resolutions to keep our public land public, honoring the contributions of women and African-Americans who call Idaho home, and celebrating the installation of the Statue of Liberty. We also continued to speak out on behalf of amending the Idaho Human Rights Act, so equal rights can be a reality for all.Additionally, legislation we sponsored allowing Idahoans to register online to vote has passed the Senate, and is moving through the House.

No legislative session is without challenges, and it is my great regret that we closed the session without passing legislation to extend healthcare coverage to some 78,000 Idahoans caught in the gap, and that we also failed to Add the Words to the Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Moving forward, we will continue to stand up for policies that strengthen our communities, improve our quality of life and honor our people. Our priorities remain the same:

  • Working to keep make access to post-high school education affordable
  • Increasing the minimum wage to help hard-working Idahoans reach economic security
  • Ensuring women earn equal pay for doing the same work as men
  • Guaranteeing that every Idahoan has access to quality, affordable healthcare

It is inspiring to work with the engaged citizens in District 19 and across the state to move our vision of a prosperous Idaho forward. We couldn't have done it without your support, partnership, and encouragement. We will continue this momentum in the next session.

 

Your Senator,

Cherie Buckner-Webb

District 19

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Cherie Buckner-Webb
Senate D-19 Campaign
P.O. Box 9813
Boise, ID 83707

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