In 1973, the Roe v. Wade decision determined that a state law (which included an exception to save the life of the mother) banning abortion, was unconstitutional. The court ruled that states were forbidden from prohibiting or regulating abortions performed in the first trimester; during the …

A new chapter in U.S. nuclear energy started with the enactment of two pieces of legislation that further nuclear innovation—S. 97, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA) and S. 512, the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA). These laws help ensure the resea…

Domestic violence is abuse by one person to another; rich, poor, educated or not, young or old, could be a victim or the abuser. Behind closed doors the abuse occurs usually on women and children. You tube has short films to watch. One is “Love Shouldn’t Hurt’. Take a few minutes and learn a…

My son called out from the back of the van, “Dad, you need to go faster. Everyone is passing us.”

The federal government should meet a high threshold of proving illegal activity when seizing personal property in a criminal investigation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should not be given cart blanche to take an American’s—hard-earned and legally-earned money—and then require the accu…

From time to time, accusations of indoctrination are leveled at the government-run education system, and we’re reminded to review the textbooks, lesson plans, student essays, or artwork to get a clearer picture of what kids are learning. Last month, anti-Trump ceiling tiles painted by studen…

Increasing college and university tuition and fees is one of the hardest decisions the Idaho State Board of Education must make. The Board knows full-well it results in a heavier burden on students and families.

My wife and my children are all very talented. They all play the piano, and most play multiple other instruments. My musical talent is limited to playing the radio. For those who know my brothers and sister and my parents, my lack of musical talent may come as a surprise. All my siblings are…

Patriots’ Day is an official holiday in Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, and Connecticut. It has been a holiday for over a century in Massachusetts and Maine. It became a holiday in Connecticut in 2018.

A great outcome of the 2019 legislative session was the demise of a pension perk that exclusively benefited state legislators. That perk allowed our part-time senators and representatives to accept full-time positions in the bureaucracy, which made them eligible for a significant spike in th…

At the end of last year, both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed by overwhelmingly bipartisan votes one of the largest, if not the largest, environmental bills. President Trump then signed this bipartisan bill into law. The environmental bill I am referring to is the ne…

For the past 25 years, I’ve had a front-row seat to the Republican-controlled state Legislature’s propensity to grow government. It’s not just about the money; it’s about the policies that require state and local politicians and bureaucrats to have more control over Idahoans’ lives. Happily,…

Jerry was trying to persuade his friend Steve to join the wrestling team. “You would be a natural at it,” Jerry said. “You’re quick, and you’re smart. Besides, we don’t really have anyone in your weight class.”

This tax filing season is a reminder of the benefits of the 2017 tax reform law already being realized and the long-term positive effects taking shape. These gains include an average 3.1 percent growth in our economy, the creation of more than 2.6 million jobs and a 3.4 percent increase in w…

The most monumental thing the 2019 Idaho Legislature did is what it didn’t do: The Legislature didn’t reauthorize thousands of pages of agency regulations. Those regulations, euphemistically called administrative rules, will expire this summer. The regulations cover every aspect of Idaho lif…

What does a person do with the skin of a skunk? Well, Rick decided that it might make a piece to use for a practical joke. He placed it on his doorstep, and he loved to watch people do a double take when they came to his door. Some people would see it from a distance and not even come to his…

Sport fishing is culturally and economically important to families and communities all across Idaho. According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, more than 35 million Amer…

I went to a funeral this week for my former high school teacher, Sam Christiansen. It brought back lots of memories, some different from what you might expect. The main one was not even from school. It was from the summer before my junior year.

On Sept. 14, 2001, Congress wrote what would prove to be one of the largest blank checks in our nation’s history. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorists gave President Bush authority to attack the Taliban, the Sunni fundamentalist forces in Afghanistan and the …

Last year President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 into law. That Farm Bill allowed states to grow hemp. With that, I only imagined our state politicians would loosen Idaho’s stringent anti-cannabis laws. When it comes to politicians, I need to learn to be more i…

I don’t know if anyone ever sees anything fun in want-ad postings, but sometimes the personality of the person doing the posting really shows through. Between that and the fact that sometimes the post probably doesn’t come out quite like the person intended, the humor in them can brighten my…

One of the biggest con jobs in all of government is “urban renewal.” The pleasant-sounding name obscures reality. Urban renewal is less about renewing urban areas and more about finding clever ways to fund big projects and to subsidize developers without drawing the attention, or having to g…

Idaho families struggling with debilitating diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or less common and rare illnesses, regularly share their heartbreaking, but also inspiring, personal experiences with me. These insights drive my longtime advocacy for necessary National Institute …

The Senate and House of Representatives both passed S.47, Natural Resources Management Act, by overwhelmingly, bipartisan votes, and President Trump signed it into law. This new law contains boundary changes for three wilderness areas in Owyhee County. These changes are important to the ongo…

Last November, Idaho voters approved the proposition to expand Medicaid, but the process of getting the program funded and done right, if at all, is not so clear. The proposition passed by voters didn’t speak to how it was to be funded, nor did it address other details such as work requireme…

One of my scouts asked me about my most embarrassing moment. I could think of many, but because I had just been to a wrestling match, I thought of one that had to do with that sport.

In 2017 alone, 1,432 patent applications were filed by residents of Idaho, and 752 patents were issued to Idahoans, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). USPTO reports that nearly the same amount of patents (744) were issued to Idaho residents in 2018. Consideri…

As the 116th Congress has begun, work continues to build on the progress made in the last Congress in restoring prosperity, stability and liberty for our country.

There’s a poster occasionally displayed in legislators’ offices that says, “Government: If you think the problems we create are bad, just wait until you see our solutions.” It’s common for legislators to ignore their own advice and plow forward with solutions equally as bad as the problems t…

That fall, as we prepared for our first high school football game of the season, our team was very much as it had always been. Though we worked and practiced together, we were not unified.

Washington, D.C., is a popular tourist destination at all times of year, but March through June are especially busy times for tours. People from all over the world visit our capital in the spring to see the cherry blossoms that frame the Tidal Basin in a cloud of light pink. The National Par…

This week I helped my son as he moved his family across the country to a new home. He has a one-year-old daughter, and the whole episode reminded me of our first move after my wife, Donna, and I were married.

When President Trump told Americans in his State of the Union address that “we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” one would assume he was talking to the openly socialist members of Congress, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

I thank my friend, Bryan Smith, for defending the Idaho Constitution and America’s founding principles against the popularly-supported Medicaid expansion.

The collection, protection and use of personally identifiable information by both the government and private companies deserves close scrutiny. Americans are rightly concerned about the collection and use of their data, and how such data is secured and protected. So concerned, in fact, that …

Like thousands of families across Idaho, Vicki and I raised our children, and now our grandchildren, to enjoy the outdoors through hunting, fishing and recreation. Some of our best memories together have been spent on public lands across the state, which helped me develop a deep appreciation…

My old friend, Bill, walked into church, and I smiled. It was good to see him. Bill is in his eighties and is one of the most positive people I know.

As the legislature kicks into full gear this year, it’s worth taking a look at how new charter-friendly legislation is making it the Governor’s desk. The J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation has invested in growing charter programs in the Gem State. In particular, Albertson provides subst…

I saw a friend of mine, Alex, driving a new pickup, and I was excited for him. But I was also somewhat surprised. I knew he loved his old truck, yet I realized I hadn’t seen it in front of his house for a few days. I was happy that he had finally been able to focus clearly on how useless the…

CLARIFICATION—The opinion piece titled “State of the State fails to address concerns for Idaho” in the Jan. 16 edition of The Jefferson Star, submitted by Madison Liberty Institute Communications Intern Amanda Penrod, has the incorrect author credited for the piece. Penrod informed The Jeffe…