Personally, this session was filled with many accomplishments and opportunities. I better understood what I needed to do to advance issues that were important to me. My first opportunity was being asked to chair an educational subcommittee that oversaw the educational administrative rules review process. Our committee rejected numerous rules as we focused on what was best for our teachers and children.
Ultimately, this rejection process played a key role when working on H100, of which I co-sponsored and continue to be a vocal advocate. This would change the rule-making process and align them with the process used when bills become law. It appears that the House’s stance on rules was constitutionally correct. This would be a huge win for our state.
During this past year, I successfully worked on a resolution, HCR9, that focused on our vast state-wide resource — hydropower. This resolution was a legislative declaration that we value our hydro as being clean, reliable and renewable, and Idaho’s most valuable resource. Many groups helped with this legislation, including Idaho Falls Power, Idaho Power, Rocky Mountain Power, AVISTA, ICUA, Idaho Farm Bureau and Idaho Water Users. Dr. John Snyder also helped.
I also successfully sponsored H139 which protects our freedom of speech from foreign defamation judgments.
Other bills of which I was proud to help push through included my standing strongly in support of the attorney general’s appropriation bill – that was going to fail. This appropriation included monies for another Internet Crimes Against Children officer to be placed here in Idaho Falls.
I stood strongly for our teachers and pay raises and helped to push back against the ever-increasing state administrative education salaries that absolutely compete with our teachers.
I was disappointed that my sex ed bill was held in the Senate Education Committee after such strong House support. But I am confident that the concerns can be addressed for next year. We must stop the nationally pushed comprehensive sex education while still offering necessary sex education for our kids.
Finally, I am disappointed in our lack of progress with criminal justice reform. That will be huge for next session.