We’re a month into the legislative session, and Idaho’s citizens are practically begging our legislators to respect librarians, fund education, and stop trying to change the definitions of words that have actual legal, scientific, and medical meanings.

The budgeting approach has been changed to something sloppy. In fact, there were some major oversights that they claim they’ll fix later, maybe. If they can find time away from trying, yet again, to effectively repeal Medicaid expansion and write bills designed to push more doctors out of our state.

Idahoans don’t ask for much.

We want the legislature to fund our schools uniformly, as suggested in our state constitution, rather than siphoning off money in a voucher grift that’s already caused headaches in several other states.

We’d like our property tax situation to be addressed. The legislature messed up the homestead exemption in 2016. Despite calls to fix the issue, they just keep ignoring it. Instead of taking accountability for this problem, they blame local governments since they “set the rates.” This isn’t a rate issue. And they know it.

We’re also concerned about the fact that our so-called “representatives” keep trying to repeal Medicaid expansion. After years of fruitlessly asking the legislature to do something constructive for Idahoans, we successfully passed a ballot initiative in 2018. The legislature’s response? Ongoing attempts to repeal it while at the same time trying to pass legislation to effectively end ballot initiatives.

Medicaid expansion is even more popular than it was when it passed with a strong bipartisan majority. Yet, our legislators, some of whom have accepted federal money for their own businesses, insist on wasting time trying to get rid of it.

Unfortunately, too many of our “leaders” are more interested in pandering to a loud minority of voices that believe the rest of us should live according to their rules. Idaho reflects the grandstanding we see on a national scale.

The border is a good example. President Biden has asked Congress for resources on the border. But certain “representatives” in Washington don’t want to approve those resources. Why? As Republican Senator Romney pointed out, they’d rather have a manufactured crisis on the border to run on in a presidential year than address the problem.

We’re seeing the same thing here in Idaho. Rather than working on Idahoans’ expressed priorities, many of our legislators write bad, sloppy bills meant to solve made-up problems. It’s a way for them to shore up their base and keep that dark money flowing.

Just this week, we got the news that one of last session’s poorly written and ill-advised culture war bills has an injunction against it. It’s rather common. So common, in fact, that it’s a regular occurrence for the legislature to increase the budget for their defense fund. And the track record is poor. They lose. A lot. They KNOW their bills are bad; that’s why they increase the fund.

At some point, something needs to change. Before they decide they really are beyond accountability.

Miranda Marquit, Master of Business Administration, is a nationally recognized financial expert, writer, speaker and podcaster. She is the chair of the Bonneville County Democratic Central Committee.