Follow Us:

twitter facebook

"Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on."

Chief Justice Thurgood Marshall - First Black Justice of the Supreme Court

Jennie Hughes Smith
Jennie was the first African-American to graduate from the University of Idaho. In a speech to her classmates at their graduation, Jennie encouraged them to "occupy positions of usefulness."
Read about Jennie's impact on Idaho here.

"I knew then and i know now, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it."

-Claudette Colvin

February is Black History Month! Read about Claudette's inspiring story here.

"Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

-Maya Angelou

Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children Preschool Development Grant
Thanks to the bipartisan efforts of a task force that Senator Ward-Engelking and I worked on, we were able to work with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) to apply for the federal Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG-B5).

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Dears Friends and Neighbors,

Events at the Capitol
On Saturday, folks from across the Treasure Valley gathered on the Capitol steps to celebrate how far women's rights have come and to recognize and celebrate the importance of human rights past, present, and future. The fourth year of the Women's March focused on women's support for and involvement in the biggest issues of our generation, including things like climate, reproductive justice and immigrants' rights. I was proud to join numerous speakers at the event, including Representatives Rubel and Necochea, as well as 6th grade students Alyssa, Chloe, and Jasmine, and Palin.

"A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus, but a molder of consensus."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Dears Friends and Neighbors,

State Revenues
The allocation and spending of your tax dollars remain contentious issues this session. It is forecasted for 2021 that the state revenue will exceed $4 billion for the first time in the state's history and will continue to grow over the next five years. Despite this economic growth, the Governor requested budget cut backs of 1% from state agencies and departments this year and projected cuts of 2% annually ongoing beginning 2021. For smaller programs and agencies, this will have drastic impacts on services and staffing abilities. I will continue to fight for efficient spending that allows us to provide the services that are important to the people of Idaho.

"Making a difference is always possible, especially with persistence and dedication."

- Gladys De La Mora, Latina Entrepreneur

The first day of the session started off right with inspirational music from the phenomenal Madison High School Vocal Spectrum from Rexburg!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

State of the State
On Monday, Governor Little gave his annual State of the State address to the legislative body. In his speech, the Governor spoke on both his past year at the legislature and his goals for the upcoming year. The Governor emphasized the importance of investing in public education and established a goal to improve literacy rates.

"I think that that's the wisest thing - to prevent illness before we try to cure something."
- Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, story teller, and civil rights activist

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Medicaid Expansion Waivers

Last November, by a clear margin, the voters used the ballot initiative process to expand Medicaid coverage to many Idahoans who had been living without health insurance. This monumental achievement was diluted by the legislature when it passed Senate Bill 1204, which included work requirements among other limitations. Unfortunately, other states' experiences with work requirements show that they do not result in more people working and they do result in fewer people with health insurance, often due to bureaucratic requirements.

"To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination."
- bell hooks (Gloria Jean Watkins), an American author, professor,
feminist, and social activist

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Lack of Transparency and Process
Throughout this legislative session, transparency and process have deteriorated. Repeatedly, a small and sometimes secreted group of legislators make decisions about major and impactful legislation behind closed doors, without transparency, without little or no stakeholder input. Proper legislative process has devolved: legislation is posted on committee agendas without sufficient notice, committees are scheduled without adequate time allotted for meaningful discussion or testimony, contentious bills are placed at the end of agendas, limiting proper consideration,and rushing procedural motions. Hundreds of people have come to the Capitol, the People's House, to present their concerns to those they elected. Yet, unfortunately, they are all too often treated with little respect. Hold your legislators accountable! We were elected to serve you. The citizens of Idaho deserve better.

"The individual woman is required...a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition"
- Jeannette Rankin, American politician and women's rights advocate, and the first woman to hold federal office in the United States

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Women's History Month
The month of March is dedicated to honoring the contributions of women to events in history and current society. Throughout this month I will highlight women that have made a positive impact on our world.

"The potential for greatness lives within each of us"
- Wilma Rudolph, American sprinter, teacher, civil and women's rights pioneer

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Medicaid Expansion
On Wednesday, the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) voted to fund Medicaid Expansion through the Milennium Fund. The committee voted unanimously 20-0 to fund the program. The appropriation will now go to both houses for approval, then on to the Governor. The Medicaid Expansion initiative was passed by 61% of the voters through a ballot initiative. This is great news for Idahoans! One cautionary note, there are still a number of bills under consideration within the legislature to create"sideboards" such as work requirements for Medicaid expansion recipients. Updates coming soon.

In Honor of Black History Month

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
- Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Teachers Salaries
In his State of the State Address, Gov. Brad Little proposed to increase starting teacher salaries to a minimum of $40,000. This week he indicated a modification. The change is the result of concern about state tax revenues coming in lower than projected due to income tax withholding issues. The revised numbers call new teacher minimum salaries to be increased to $38,500 next year, and $40,000 the following year. This change would add $3.8 million to next year's budget for the salary boost in comparison to the previous $11.2 million. The following year would be an additional $7.7 million.

Have a Question? Contact Us

Latest Tweet

Like Us On Facebook

Contact Us

Find us on this address

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

Or you can call us

Phone: 208-861-5482