THIS WEEK – It’s all about encouraging the Senate to do the right thing and block the House’s extremist agenda. Here’s the info for our legislators: https://www.facebook.com/notes/bonneville-democrats/contact-our-representatives/2071038702912772/
1. Today the Senate State Affairs Committee passed two dangerous bills: HB500, which bans trans girls and trans women from playing high school and college sports, and HB 440, the anti-affirmative action bill. A party-line vote sent both bills to the full Senate on amending orders. Amending orders, also known as the 14th Order, require amendments to be made to the bills before they get voted on by the full Senate.
Let our Senators know this isn’t acceptable. You can use the contact information provided in our note, above.
HB 500 has its own link for quick action: https://act.myngp.com/Forms/8765759902788619264
After gaveling one person to silence on the issue related to affirmative action, the committee chair then went on to decide that it wasn’t worth hearing more than a very few minutes on HB500.
2. In other, “the bar for basic decency is already on the floor and yet the House still digs a hole to go underneath it” news, today the House decided to use the higher education budget as yet another pawn in their ongoing culture war. Opponents said they voted against the budget because, in part, they think diversity and inclusion are bad things. *insert Justin Timberlake stare gif here*
So now JFAC has to reconvene and come up with a new budget that somehow doesn’t financially hamstring Idaho’s colleges and universities (because they agreed to freeze tuition for the next year) and placate an ideology that doesn’t deserve to be placated. So much for ending the session before April.
3. The House also killed the Secretary of State’s budget. So, who’s ready for our legislators to suck up more of our time, energy, and money? Because at this rate there’s a good chance they won’t be done by the proposed March 20 end date.
4. Thank goodness that bill making it illegal to sell e-cigs and vaping supplies to minors passed the House. Unfortunately, our own “representatives” weren’t willing to vote against their buddy Rep. Vito Barbieri and his business interests (he owns a vape shop). But, even if our D33 reps won’t take action to protect underage children, at least the House as a whole showed some interest in protecting children.
5. Also, in good news, the Idaho Patient Act, which was championed by Frank VanderSloot, has passed the Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk.
6. The Idaho Democratic Party has been busy too. This past weekend the IDP approved and launched two new caucuses within the party — an Accessibility Caucus and a Labor Caucus. Party Caucuses are groups organized around a need or an interest to help foster outreach. Then on Saturday night the IDP held its 26th Annual Frank & Bethine Church Gala, featuring Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Olympic gold medalist Michelle Kwan as speakers. Both of them were great, the event was sold out, and a good time was had by all.
7. Don’t forget to vote in the Special Presidential Primary tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10. Go to your regular polling place, which you can find here: https://apps.idahovotes.gov/YourPollingPlace/WhereDoIVote.aspx
Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Also, we’re having a county delegate selection caucus on April 4 at 2 pm at the library. You can find out more about the process, including how to become a state and national delegate, on the IDP website: https://idahodems.org/2020primary/