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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead

Student Action on Gun ViolenceStudent Action on Gun Violence
Some 2,000+ young people participated in the nationwide school walkout on Wednesday in protest of government inaction on gun violence. These focused, purposeful young men and women clearly articulated their concerns, pain, and recommendations for addressing the issue. I am so proud of them for standing up for their beliefs and their right to a violence-free educational environment. They are, rightfully, holding us accountable. We legislators, citizens, and parents must support our students.

End of Session
This week has been a frantic rush to the finish. Legislative leadership hopes to wrap up business sometime this week. As a result of the Supreme Court decision surrounding the end of the 2017 session, we will be required to remain in session for five days after the last bill is passed to await the Governor's action on the legislation before we can Sine Die (the official term for end-of-session adjournment).

Living Organ DonorLiving Organ Donor
The living organ donor bill (SB 1302), which prohibits discrimination against living organ donors in life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance policies, passed in the House this week. It has now been approved by both chambers and awaits the Governor's action. With his signature, Idaho will become the first state in the nation to enact such legislation. I am proud to have sponsored this bill, and look forward to seeing it signed into law. I am very grateful to Marty Durand and Donna Yule for bringing this important issue forward, sharing their donation story, and for their work in getting the bill passed.

Health Care
A bill to restore non-emergency dental benefits to Medicaid recipients, that will reverse a 2011 recession-era cut to Medicaid dental care, passed the Senate this week. While the 2011 cut was done with the understanding it would only be for a year, it has now been 7 years and has resulted in real consequences to health and tax dollars. Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-18, and Rep. Kelley Packer, R-28, successfully sponsored the legislation in the House, and Sen. Maryanne Jordan, D-17, carried it in the Senate. This bill will enable approximately 30,000 Idahoans to access the much needed dental coverage. I was proud to support it.

While the Medicaid dental bill did pass, several other important health care proposals have not been successful this session. The Idaho Health Care Plan, which is imperfect but would have helped about half of Idaho's gap population, was not given a vote in the House but sent back to committee. My Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate continue to call upon our colleagues to take action before this session ends. Our duty is to be accountable to, represent, and serve the people of Idaho, most particularly our most vulnerable. We cannot turn away from 78,000 men and women in desperate need of health care. It is critical that we realize this is not some nameless, faceless group. These are our family, friends and neighbors: we are they.

Abortion Reporting Requirements
After hours of debate, on Wednesday the Senate voted to pass a bill which establishes extensive new mandates for reporting anything that could be construed as a complication resulting from an abortion, even years after the procedure. My Democratic colleagues and I debated vigorously against the legislation. The requirements go too far, and 14 senators, including 8 Republicans, voted against the bill. It did pass, however, and now goes to the Governor's desk.

School Threats
I voted in favor of HB 665, which allows law enforcement to investigate those who make threats of violence against schools, regardless of where the threat was made or how it was delivered. This will allow law enforcement greater leeway to investigate, and for authorities to prosecute, threats made on social media. Those under 18 will be referred to the juvenile court system. All in the Senate agreed that the safety of our students is critical. We heard the voices of the students. We took action.

Here to Serve You
My goal is to address the immediate needs of District 19 while working strategically toward long term solutions. It is my honor to serve you in the Idaho State Senate. Know that your letters, emails, texts, and calls are invaluable.  I appreciate hearing what is most important to you and your family.

You can reach me at (208) 332-1339 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cherie

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

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Phone: 208-861-5482