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"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.

Chief Justice Burdick addressing the Senate.

State of the Judiciary
This week we were joined by state judges and Supreme Court Justices. Idaho State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Burdick addressed the legislature and spoke about the big issues facing the judicial branch. One of his focuses this year was mental illness, which poses a unique burden on the judicial branch. I join the Chief Justice in his call to "chart a new course forward" with all three branches of government to improve how we deal with the mentally ill in Idaho. The Chief Justice stressed the importance of using his budget in a way that is most effective, and right now the state spends a lot on what he calls "the nation's most intractable social issue." The way we handle the mentally ill is important not only economically for the state, but for Idaho people, families, and public safety. Justice Burdick also spoke to how the state's rapid population growth has created the need for more judges. Bonner, Kootenai, Canyon, and Ada Counties are areas that are being impacted and have the highest need.

Criminal Justice Reform
Reforming our criminal justice system to stop the revolving door of offenders in this state is a key issue not only for me and my caucus, but for many of the legislators in this building. In his State of the State last week, the Governor changed the narrative from a tough on crime approach to one that involves both saving money and reducing recidivism. The way to do this is to pass legislation that overturns mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, that helps people get a fair chance at employment, and that provides resources to help them acclimate back into society.

Idaho Interfaith Equality Coalition showing support for Add the Words.

Add the Words
Senator Maryanne Jordan introduced a personal bill to provide protection for members of the LGBTQ community. It is tragically the 14th year that we have attempted to pass legislation that ensures people are not discriminated against because of who they love or who they identify as. I am excited this year that it is again jointly supported by the minority caucuses both in the House and the Senate. This legislation would add the words "sexual orientation and gender identity" to the Idaho Human Rights act to provide protections for the LGBTQ community. While at least 14 cities have enacted ordinances that protect these members of our community, we must pass this legislation to safeguard them at the state level as well.

D19 Spotlight: Crosswalk Guard
Washington Elementary School is in the heart of Boise's Northend. For many kids, the route they take to school involves crossing the major thoroughfare of Harrison Blvd. and Lemp Street. One crosswalk guard is community member in District 19 and spends his mornings and afternoons safeguarding our kids as they cross that busy road. He shared with me his concerns about the children's safety around these roads, which includes cars often running red lights and speeding in excess of the 20mph speed limit in the school zone. Let's all work to ensure our kids travel to and from school safely by using caution while driving in this area and by following all traffic laws.

Boise Leadership Program
Leadership Boise is a Boise Metro Chamber program that seeks to find and establish the most energetic and engaged leaders in our community. This week the members came to the Capitol, and they heard from a panel that I had the pleasure of sitting on, which also featured other Senate and House leadership. Together, we discussed top priorities for this session, why we choose to serve, and how we can better align public policy with the public opinion and improve constituent participation. These members asked us important questions about things like accessibility, homelessness, and obtaining a living wage. I look forward to working with these bright leaders in the future.

District 19 Town Hall
Don't forget, the first town hall for D19 is on Tuesday, February 11th starting at 6pm at Shadow Hills Elementary School. This will be an opportunity for constituents to meet with myself and Representatives Wintrow and Nechochea and to get involved with important issues happening in our community and across the state.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Capitol
On Monday, January 20th, join us here at the Statehouse to be part of the state celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Idaho Human Rights day in Boise. The event is from 12-1pm. Governor Little will deliver his proclamation followed by Boise State University President Marlene Tromp's keynote address, and more!

Here to Serve You
I am excited to work this session towards both the immediate needs of District 19 as well as establishing long term solutions. It is my honor to serve you in the Idaho State Senate. Please know that your letters, texts, emails, and calls are invaluable to me as I represent you here. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and knowing 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