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.

Important Dates!
Thank you for a successful first town hall of this session at Shadow Hills Elementary School! The remaining town halls are from 6-7pm at the following dates and locations:

  • February 18th at Roosevelt Elementary School
  • March 3rd at Hidden Spring Elementary School

Legislation Update

  • S1275 - This bill will require health benefit plans to provide reimbursement for a 6-month supply of contraceptives. It was sent from committee to the Senate floor with a do-pass recommendation, but we're still waiting for it to be heard by and voted on by the Senate.
  • S1297 - This legislation will add a statute to Idaho code that will create a "Too Great for Hate" specialty license plate. Funds generated by the license plate will support the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, which is the home of the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial. This legislation will have a full hearing in Transportation Committee on Tuesday, February 18th at 1:30pm. Click here to stream the committee live.
  • S1318 - My Fair Chance Employment Legislation helps remove barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people. It is straightforward - it removes the initial barriers that people with criminal convictions often face when trying to get a job - that question - "are you a felon?" and instead allows applicants to demonstrate their skills and experience related to the job at hand. Click here to tune in to Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee on Monday, February 17th at 1:30pm to listen live as this bill has a full public hearing.

Idaho Education Standards
Senate Education Committee saved the day for the Idaho Education Standards this week. After a party line vote to remove the standards in the House Education Committee, the Senate Education committee voted to pass the standards in whole, which will keep them in place another year. This vote will ensure that Idaho teachers have the best tools available to educate our kids.

Social-Emotional Learning Task Force in House Education Committee
Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra and her staff presented an overview of her $1 million social-emotional budget recommendation to the House Education Committee, which was based on recommendations made by Governor Brad Little's Our Kids, Idaho's Future task force. The recommendation from the Superintendent involved training to help teachers identify at-risk students, intervene in a crisis, and help address risky youth behaviors while creating a healthy classroom environment. Idaho's suicide rates are fifth in the nation and 23% of students have seriously considered suicide in the last year (the highest in a decade), according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Idaho has serious mental health issues that need addressed, and programs like these will help give parents and teachers the tools and resources they desperately need to help our children. Providing these necessary resources should not be a partisan issue.

S1263 - Removing a Sunset Clause
After a unanimous vote from the Senate, S1263 is being sent to the House. This legislation removes the sunset clause, which is a clause that causes a statute to cease to have effect after a specific date, from a 2016 bill regarding worker's compensation claims from firefighters who contract 11 different specific types of cancer while on the job. The sunset clause was put in place in 2016 due to fears of increased premiums, but base worker's compensation rates have actually fallen 18% since the bill's passage in 2016. This is good legislation that will continue to provide necessary healthcare to our firefighters.

Lincoln Day

Here at the Capitol, we celebrate and remember President Abraham Lincoln on his birthday, February 12th. I was pleased to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic and America the Beautiful on the Senate Floor.

H393 - Idaho School Election Days
This legislation would limit school districts' ability to run ballot measures to ask for bonds or levies only in May and November elections. Currently, along with the May and November elections, school districts can run ballot measures in March and August as well. In fact, 59% of bond and levy election were held on the March election date, and across the board, the March passage rates are higher. H393 is still in House State Affairs, but I will be keeping an eye on it as it has the potential to have a significant impact on school funding.

News You Can Use!
You may qualify for free income tax help! The free help, provided throughout the state by volunteer tax preparation sites, is intended for senior citizens and people with low and moderate incomes - with simple federal and Idaho tax returns. Click here for more information on free income tax filing help. Click here to find a site near you.

Have a wonderful week,


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