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A Message from the Chair:

Laureen Necochea

April 21, 2023

Republican Supermajority Increasingly Hostile to Girls and Women

Idaho is home. It’s where many of us were raised and where we chose to raise our families. But as a mother of two daughters, I can no longer encourage them to settle here. This breaks my heart, but Idaho’s cruel laws deny their freedoms and put them at risk if they ever become pregnant. Countless families face the same gut-wrenching dilemma. Sadly, Idaho’s extreme abortion ban is just one example of the legislature’s growing hostility to girls and women.


Roe v. Wade protected Idahoans from the most extreme positions of its Republican lawmakers. Once it was overturned, Idaho’s hardline abortion ban took effect. Not only does the law have near-unworkable exceptions for victims of rape and incest but it also allows the rapist’s family members to sue for cash awards if the victim receives an abortion. Terrifyingly, the ban has zero exceptions to protect the patient’s health and future fertility. 


Despite warnings from medical experts about the dangerously restrictive language, Republican politicians refused to act. Instead, they doubled down on their far-right agenda.


Knowing the risks their abortion laws pose for patients, Republican legislators shut down Idaho’s Maternal Mortality Review Board, which tracked maternal deaths. Then they enacted laws to mandate abortion investigations by local police and restrict interstate travel for abortions. 

Their attacks extend to birth control, health care access, child care, and more.


Before it was resurrected, Republican legislators ended support for childcare businesses that had been critical to keeping their doors open. They voted down legislation that would require insurance companies to cover a six-month supply of birth control to ease the travel burden in rural Idaho. They killed a bill to provide menstrual products in schools to keep girls from having to go home midday. They terminated evidence-based adolescent pregnancy prevention Idaho had been conducting for years. And they let a bill to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage die in committee.


These assaults have dire consequences that Republican lawmakers continue to ignore. A recent KTVB story recounted the story of Kayla and her husband. They were overjoyed when she became pregnant. Tragically, a 20-week anatomy scan revealed fatal birth defects. The couple had to travel to Washington for Kayla to get an early induction of labor. Speaking about her painful experience, Kayla said, "There are so many factors that go into a family's life, a woman's life, that they can't account for in legislation.” 


The campaign against women and girls harms us all. It pushes medical practitioners out of state and discourages businesses from investing here. It will eventually drive our children away too. All girls and women in Idaho deserve the freedoms and opportunities. Idaho Democrats will continue fighting for them. Join us.

A Message from the Chair:

Laureen Necochea

April 14, 2023

Democrats Delivered for Idahoans

in the 2023 Session

Idahoans are often surprised to learn how unbalanced our Legislature is, with Republicans holding 83% of the seats. Even in this unhealthy environment, Idaho Democrats punch above our weight. And with a fractured Republican Party, Democrats deliver clutch votes on everything from routine budgets to crucial investments in our future economy.


The 2023 Legislation Session was no exception.


A top issue I hear about from industry leaders is their difficulty in hiring talent in Idaho. This hammered home the importance of “Launch,” an initiative to provide grants to graduating seniors to train for in-demand careers. It is a generational game-changer, helping Idahoans achieve better salaries to support their families while helping employers hire the workers they need. And it was only possible because of Democrats. In both the House and Senate, a majority of Republicans voted against this commonsense investment.


As other states fell to the false promise of school voucher schemes, we held the line. In the House Education Committee, Democratic votes prevented vouchers from advancing. Our numbers also made it possible to uphold the veto of the bill creating bounties on libraries.


When Republicans doubled down on criminalizing healthcare, Idaho Democrats focused on protecting access. We succeeded in providing overdue rate increases for in-home and community-based care providers for Idahoans with disabilities. We fought back against GOP attempts to eliminate Medicaid expansion. And we brought the deciding votes to enact incentives for nurses serving rural Idaho.


Idaho Democrats also played a pivotal role in protecting ballot initiative and voting rights. We halted a Republican-led attempt to make ballot initiatives practically impossible. And we cast the deciding votes to stop a bill to arbitrarily limit who can vote by mail. It would have preserved this right for people who own second homes, but not Idahoans who need to travel for a funeral or family reunion.


We stopped some of the assaults on our freedoms, but couldn’t thwart all of them. The criminalization of gender-affirming care, the nation’s first law to restrict interstate travel for an abortion, and burdensome voter ID laws for students are a few that passed. The good news is that strong legal challenges are in the works to undo them.


Idaho is at a crossroads and this session underscored the two diverging paths we face. We can focus on building a bright future for the next generation. The alternative is a far-right agenda to take us backward by ignoring the will of the people, controlling our most intimate decisions, and driving away medical providers and other professionals out of state.


Only Idaho Democrats offer a roadmap to protect our families, our freedoms, and our future. The power to determine the path we take belongs to us.

A Message from the Chair:
Laureen Necochea

March 17, 2023

GOP Property Tax Bill Has Poison Pill for Schools


Idaho Democrats had many priorities entering this session, but two topped the list. First, a mandate from voters to increase school investment. Our schools – rural schools, in particular – face dire challenges in retaining staff and a nearly $1 billion backlog in facilities needs. Second, finally, address property taxes. Now these priorities, shared by Idahoans, are at risk.


A fast-moving GOP bill, HB 292, couples property tax reduction homeowners desperately need with a poison pill threatening the financial stability of our schools. Specifically, it eliminates the March election schools use for voter-approved levies and bonds.


Ideally, schools would receive adequate, reliable state funding and would never need levies and bonds. These options are challenging, uncertain measures to secure funding. Schools only pursue them to ensure a quality education for their students. 


Sadly, levy reliance has become the norm. Eighty percent of Idaho’s districts require supplemental levies for day-to-day costs like teacher salaries, supplies, and utilities. The March election date allows them to make timely salary offers to retain their staff for the following school year. If schools have to wait until the May election to get their full budget, many educators may have taken more certain job offers across state or district lines. The only other election opportunities, August and November, are generally useless because the school year has already started.


Even with levies, Idaho is 51st in the nation for school investment. It’s worrisome to imagine where our kids would be without an opportunity for voters to bolster school funding when needed. And while the state is poised to boost investment this year, this commitment is never guaranteed for the future and is less than half the funds school districts sought in last Tuesday’s election.


At its core, this legislation strips control from local school boards and voters themselves. Residents will no longer have the power to make timely decisions about what supplemental funding they wish to support.

This bill recently passed the House just like another recent property tax “fix.” In 2021, HB 389 was sold as critical legislation to reduce property taxes. Of course, the promised benefits never materialized. But the bill did cause harm, taking away property tax assistance from some low-income seniors and impeding local government’s ability to set budgets. Republican legislators and the governor enacted bad legislation because they got the message there would be no other option to meet a desperate constituent need.


Today, we need the courage and thoughtful reflection that was lacking in 2021. The Idaho Senate and Governor Little must hold the line and reject HB 292 as written. The future of our schools depends on it.

A Message from the Chair:
Laureen Necochea

March 11, 2023

Back on Track


At the onset of this Legislative Session, we had strong proposals to enact, opportunities to seize, and problems to solve. Sadly, progress on Idaho’s most pressing needs has stalled. As we zoom toward a target March 24th adjournment, it is past time for the Legislature to get on track.


Idahoans spoke clearly in their advisory vote last November: We resoundingly endorsed a new $330 million investment in K-12 public education and $80 million for in-demand career training. Idaho Democrats were eager to enact these investments as our first order of business. We hoped our Republican colleagues would be just as eager to take up the charge.


Instead, these common-sense investments are threatened by political hostage-taking, infighting, and general hostility toward education. The in-demand workforce bill squeaked through the House by a single vote. It took every Democrat to overcome the majority of Republicans in opposition. It is now languishing in the “amending order” in the Senate.


Zero steps have been taken to bolster teacher and education support staff pay as rural schools, in particular, are struggling with hiring. A bill to start addressing the nearly $1 billion backlog in school facilities needs failed in committee.


This theme keeps repeating itself. Idaho families and employers rely on child care, yet Republicans just rejected $80 million for child care business support. Idahoans want better infrastructure. So far, not one budget has advanced, whether it’s for shovel-ready wastewater projects or the maintenance backlog for our beloved state parks. 


What are Republicans in power advancing? One far-right folly after another: criminalizing certain vaccines, bringing back firing squads, attempting to ban drag shows while taking down our entire cultural arts sector, taking away the rights of parents to make medical decisions for their children, ensnaring libraries in endless frivolous lawsuits, banning most absentee voting so that people with vacation homes can vote by mail but not those traveling to a loved one’s funeral, amending the Idaho Constitution to effectively eliminate our ballot initiative rights, allowing armed militias to parade down Main Street, and restricting bathroom use.


These bills will not bring good jobs to our state. They will not improve our schools. They will not make raising your family more affordable. They will not lower your property taxes so you can stay in your home. 


These manufactured issues are worse than mere distractions from voters’ real concerns. These bills are outright harmful. They attack our fellow Idahoans, stoking fear and hate for our LGBTQ community. This toxic environment makes business owners and talented employees think twice about putting down roots in Idaho, causing lasting damage to our economy.


We know what the people of Idaho want. The Idaho Legislature needs to start delivering.

A Message from the Chair:
Laureen Necochea

August, 26, 2022


Higher education is an important pathway to careers that offer family-sustaining wages, but the math that students face has changed a lot over time. 


When my dad went to Boise State (then, Boise Junior College), he was able to easily cover his tuition and fees with income from his summer jobs. Over the decades since, state investment did not keep up and costs shifted to students who were forced to take out big loans. This has been especially true for students of color. Today’s graduates are now juggling the cost of raising families, increasingly expensive housing, and other basic expenses. For many people in crucial but undervalued professions, such as teachers and social workers, crushing student debt payments put a terrible strain on the family budget.


On Wednesday, the Biden-Harris administration announced their plan to bring targeted student loan relief to working and middle-class families. In Idaho, there are 218,100 student borrowers with an average loan debt of over $33,000. These actions will help borrowers who need it the most – with nearly 90% of relief dollars going to borrowers earning less than $75,000 per year. Buying a home, choosing to start a family, or saving for retirement will be made easier for so many Idaho families. 


In the words of former President Barack Obama this is a BFD. 


We also saw big news from Gov. Little calling for a special legislative session to spend some of the dollars that came in over projections. Now I don’t have a crystal ball, but boy did I predict this so-called “surplus.” In January, Representative Sally Toone, Senator Mark Nye and I wrote about the Idaho GOP adopting lowball revenue estimates (in conflict with expert projections) to engineer future budget “surpluses.” They did this while basic responsibilities – like adequate state funding for schools – went unmet.


For years Idaho Democrats have tirelessly fought for increased investments in Idaho schools while the GOP supermajority underpaid our educators, slashed funding for higher education, let our schools fall into disrepair, and rejected an $18 million grant to support preschool. So why, with nearly $1.4 billion in state coffers, is Little calling for a special session to finally fund education? 


His back is against a wall. 


This November, Reclaim Idaho’s Quality Education Act will be on the ballot. It calls for similar increases in education funding and, like Medicaid Expansion, it’s extremely popular. 


The major difference between these two proposals is how they are funded. The Quality Education Act would require the wealthiest Idahoans and corporations to pay the fair share, returning to the income tax rates they paid 20 years ago. The governor’s proposal relies on sales tax – a regressive tax that requires those of modest means to pay a higher percentage of their income. The governor’s plan is also tied to permanent revenue cuts disproportionately benefitting people at the top of the income spectrum and lopsided tax rebates where working class folks get a minimum check and the people who need it the least get the biggest checks.


I think if most Idahaons had a say they'd choose the former over the latter. Unfortunately, Governor Little isn’t giving us the choice. He’s deliberately doing an end run around the citizens’ initiative by pushing legislation with an effective date designed to undo the Quality Education Act if it passes. 


Let me be clear: I'm very eager to increase school funding. It’s sad that the price of doing so is another Republican tax package that shortchanges working families. This revenue should be used to provide meaningful benefits to Idahoans who work hard, but face soaring rents, home prices and other financial challenges.


President Biden has proven that we can create tax policies and programs that lift up working people and families, but only with the right people in office.

Trust Idahoans to govern themselves
By Terri Pickens ManweilerCandidate for Lieutenant Governor

August, 20, 2022


Back-to-school time is expensive and it’s a huge time commitment–but I love it.

Okay, I don’t love how my kids keep changing sizes so I have to keep buying clothes. I don’t love that they need enough school supplies to equip an army. I don’t love the endless driving: for shopping trips, for sports physicals, for random errands.

And my heart breaks a little each year that I watch my “little ones” take bigger and bigger steps out in the world.

But I love that we have schools to go back to!

You know who doesn’t love back-to-school time? My opponent, Speaker Scott Bedke, and anti-freedom extremists who he has rolled over for, like the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF).

Speaker Bedke supports “school choice.” That sounds nice, right? It’s not nice. It is double-talk from the far-right about its campaign to put public money into private schools. That’s a very bad idea.

IFF loves the idea of starving public schools, particularly rural ones. That’s a big reason why I refused to legitimize that radical organization when they wanted to host a debate. IFF is so radical that abolishing public schools is their top issue.

What’s not to love about public school?

Well, look at what happens in a school with professional teachers who challenge kids. The kids learn to live and work together. They learn that science is real and that it is the basis of medicine, solving modern problems, and exploring the stars. If they are lucky, kids share classes with kids who aren’t like them. They learn to love the differences, not fear them. They learn to respect other perspectives, not ignore them.

Public school kids learn the skills it takes to make democracy work.

It grieves me to say it, but that respect for diversity that kids might learn in public schools scares people like Speaker Bedke. It fuels his disdain for teachers and students.

The Idaho Freedom Foundation? They attack public schools to weaken our democracy.

Hey, but we still have back-to-school time. We are still strong people who can unite. We have power and we matter.

A vote for me is a vote for someone who will fight for your right to send a kid back to school every year–until they are old enough to vote.

Health care is more than just the cost of insulin
By David Roth, Candidate for U.S. Senate

August, 19, 2022

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There has been a lot of attention in the last few weeks about the cost of insulin. Unfortunately, both of our U.S. senators voted against capping the monthly cost of insulin for the majority of Americans. And while insulin is absolutely critical for the 9 million or so insulin-dependent diabetics in this country, it is not the only medication out there hitting Americans in the pocketbook.

According to, the average per capita cost for pharmaceuticals in the United States is $1,228.66 per year, just over 37% higher than the next highest country, Switzerland. Many of these medications are for chronic illnesses such as diabetes. About 30% of diabetics are insulin dependent. The rest of us, like me, who has Type 2 diabetes, manage our diabetes quite well with other medications. Imagine my shock this past month when I went to refill my prescription. What had previously been a $74 co-pay, after insurance and manufacturer discount card, was now about $324. It worked out to be a 337% increase. The only explanation given? The drug is now simply more expensive due to demand.

While we all understand that prices do tend to increase, one has to wonder what is driving this increase. Especially since it seems to be felt most here in the United States — more than anywhere else in the world. What have they figured out that we have not?

This seems particularly egregious considering a recent article in the Washington Post reporting that AbbVie, the maker of the best-selling drug in the world, Humira, generates 75% of its sales in the United States. Thanks to the Trump tax law changes, though, AbbVie can shield 99% of that income from U.S. taxes. 99%!

To be clear: these companies are charging Americans more than they charge anyone else and at the same time ducking out on their responsibility to pay U.S. taxes on those ill-gotten gains. Based on current votes, and statement releases by our Republican leaders, they are not only proud of this fact, but would seek to expand it. They also appear to oppose any measure designed to hold Big Pharma accountable.

Where does that leave the average American? It leaves about 35 million of us, myself included, completely dependent on our Affordable Care Act insurance and the protections guaranteed to us against discrimination due to a pre-existing chronic condition. Without that lifeline, there would be no way that I could afford to insure myself and get the medications that I need to remain healthy and support my family.

We need to focus on increasing access to affordable health care, especially among vulnerable populations. That is one reason I am proud to be a Democrat. We are looking for solutions to real problems, while the other side is simply fixated on sunsetting programs such as the ACA, Medicare and Social Security — with no real plan to replace them.

A Message from the Chair:
Laureen Necochea

August, 19, 2022


This week President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law – one of the most significant pieces of legislation in recent history. The Act will lower costs for American families from health care expenses, to prescription drugs, and energy bills. It also takes huge steps to tackle the climate crisis while creating good-paying jobs and reducing the national deficit. It’s a win for Democrats and, more importantly, the American people. 


But passing the Inflation Reduction Act was not without challenges. Every single Republican, including Idaho’s Mike Simpson, Russ Fulcher, Jim Risch, and Mike Crapo voted against these measures. Even worse? Risch and Crapo helped defeat a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act to cap the monthly out-of-pocket costs for people who use insulin at $35. 


In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people and Idaho’s Republican congressmen sided with special interests. And I’m not the least bit surprised, because time and time again we’ve seen these same dynamics play out at the Statehouse.


During the 2022 Legislation Session, our strong revenues meant we could finally deliver broadly shared priorities that have been on the back burner for too long: reducing property taxes, repealing the sales tax on groceries and strengthening our schools. What did the Republican supermajority do? They once again doubled-down on their trickle-down approach, at the urging of high-powered interests, and closed the door on important tax solutions that everyday Idahoans want and desperately need. 


The Idaho GOP wants us to think government can’t work for working families. The truth? They make it so. They’ve rigged Idaho’s economy in favor of high-powered interests by heaping tax breaks upon those who need them least for decades. They’ve underfunded education, forced property taxes to skyrocket, and left our roads and bridges in utter disrepair. 


Idahoans are wising up. 


The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act proves that the government can work for working families when Democrats have power. Idaho Democrats are fighting the same good fight right here at home. We successfully pass bills that help Idahoans, but we are limited by our small numbers. We bring many strong proposals that Republican leadership refuses to hear, but we also cast the deciding votes on many key bills that a majority of Republican representatives vote against, such as investments in affordable housing and child care.


We can do more, such as restoring balance to our property tax system, build a thriving middle class, and ensure all Idaho children have access to a world-class education, but only if we elect more Democrats.


So let’s help Idaho Democrats get elected up and down the ballot this November.

Trust Idahoans to govern themselves
By Bob Solomon, Candidate for District 10 Senate

August, 14, 2022

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In the representative democracy our founders crafted, a fundamental principle is that elected officials are chosen by the people to do the work of the people. The role of the legislator is to listen, understand, and respond to the needs of their district.

The representative lives in the district, with the underlying understanding that you cannot represent people if you are not among them. Today, representative democracy faces an existential threat from Dark Money interest groups. These groups, so called “non-profits” who in fact are spending for candidates and causes, are not required to disclose their donors. This becomes dangerous when we cannot see who is funding these groups and assess their true motives and goals.In Idaho, the foremost example of this is the Idaho Freedom Foundation, its political action committee and interconnected affiliates.

These claim that they want the will of the people to be enacted in Idaho, yet prevent it at every turn. How? By flooding Idahoans with a slew of misinformation, half-facts, and fear-mongering. The IFF playbook is to take an out-of-state issue and work very hard to convince the people of Idaho that this is happening here. Without defining terms and claiming (often speciously) local examples, they make sweeping claims about hot-button national issues and raise fear that it is happening in Idaho.

The result is that we cannot have a conversation about the daily stresses that are impacting Idahoans: managing growth, addressing affordability, rising property taxes, and ensuring quality education for our children. Those conversations are systematically overshadowed by the IFF, and then de-prioritized by the legislators who are funded by them. This sucks the air out of the room for the rest of us as a small extremist group of legislators take up all the oxygen, though most of us know that we can work together on the issues we all face. Idaho is seeing unprecedented growth, which must be managed properly.

Homeowners are facing the highest property tax burden in the history of this state. Renters are getting priced out of their living spaces. Seniors are choosing between property tax or food/medicine. This great state has some challenges that need reasonable, thoughtful legislators to address. The insanity of spending time defunding the courts, robbing the people of their right to vote on initiatives, and spending time on fabricated grievance issues means the real problems go unsolved. The best solution to this is to elect representatives who listen to the concerns of their constituents and prioritize addressing these problems when they are in office. If you are concerned with the current state of these issues in Idaho, I encourage you to take a look at who is funding the candidates in your district.

Ask yourself what their priorities are and compare them with yours. Representative democracy allows for Idahoans to have the most say here right here in the communities they are building. Let’s resist the pretensions of shadowy out of state power brokers. Trust Idahoans to govern themselves.

A Message from the Chair:
Laureen Necochea

August, 12, 2022


During my short time as chair of the Idaho Democratic Party, I’ve had a chance to visit communities across Idaho and talk with hundreds of Idahoans. Here’s what I’ve learned: Idaho is at a crossroads. 


Far-right extremism poses an ever growing threat to our state and our way of life. Idaho is no stranger to organized hate. Growing up, I heard the news stories and felt the impact of the Hayden Lake Aryan Nations compound. And I watched as everyday Idahoans, regardless of their political affiliation, stood up and successfully fought back against white nationalism. 


Recent coverage by the Idaho Capital Sun and Idaho Statesman examine the resurgence of extremism. Democrats have been sounding the alarm about this disturbing trend for years.


But I don’t see that same action across the aisle. In fact, I see the opposite. Far-right extremists have found a home in the Idaho Republican Party. They serve as chairs in their county parties, they win nominations in Republican primaries, and play cruel pranks on families experiencing homelessness as we saw in Twin Falls. And now, with the election of Dorothy Moon, extremists have successfully seized control of the Idaho GOP. 


And what have  supposedly “moderate” Republican leaders, like Brad Little, Scott Bedke, and Mike Simpson, had to say about this?



They may quietly whisper their concerns, but when extreme laws come to their desks, they approve them. They refuse to stand up to the radicalism in their party and their complicity is costing us freedoms we hold dear. 


Just this week, Gov. Little attempted to score cheap political points by attacking efforts by the Biden administration to protect transgender children from discrimination. At the federal level, Idaho’s Republican delegation voted against bringing high-paying jobs to Idaho and providing health care to toxin-exposed veterans. Rather than using their platform to look out for Idahoans, they have attacked the FBI for lawfully investigating criminal allegations of a disgraced president.


Idaho deserves better. 


It’s time to channel our inner Beto O'Rourke. We’re calling things how we see them, taking the gloves off, and doing our level best to hold these people accountable.


Across Idaho, voters are waking up. They are seeing Republican leaders fall to extremism and vote against our interests. We need to capitalize on this. We need to be ready with the ads, billboards, campaign staff, and trained volunteers in communities across our state. 


We have a moral imperative to fight back with everything we’ve got. Join me. 

Kansas showed us what’s possible
By Chair Laureen Necochea

August, 5, 2022


This week, a deep red state showed us what is possible. Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to their state constitution to remove protections for abortion. They knew that without this constitutional guarantee, GOP politicians — like those here in Idaho — would not hesitate to introduce extreme abortion bans with virtually no exceptions for rape, incest, or even the life of the patient. 


I know Idahoans trust people to make decisions about their own lives and bodies, without government interference, and a newly released analysis by The New York Times backs this up. They estimate a majority of Idaho voters would have supported abortion rights in a ballot initiative similar to the one in Kansas. 


So what does this mean for our state? 


It’s further proof that today’s Idaho GOP is way too extreme for Idaho. From their ultra-MAGA plan to dismantle our public schools to their cruel anti-abortion platform with no exception for saving a mother’s life, Idaho’s Republican supermajority no longer represents a majority of Idahoans. 


Idahoans are with us on the issues. They believe Idaho students deserve a quality education, that our economy should work for all of us, not just the wealthy few, and democracy is worth defending. 


But beliefs don’t win elections, actions do.


The inspiring result in Kansas didn’t happen on its own. It happened because people came together to organize across the state, talk to voters, donate funds and deliver well-honed messages. It is the same work that Idaho Democrats are undertaking right now so that we can win elections this November.


We can’t do this work alone and I invite you to join us today.

Kansas showed what’s possible. It’s up to all of us to roll up our sleeves for Idaho.

Idaho Dems on New DOJ Lawsuit Against Idaho
By Chair Laureen Necochea

August, 2, 2022


Idaho Democratic Party Chair Lauren Necochea released the following statement in support of the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice seeking to block Idaho’s new restrictive abortion law:

“Idaho’s radical abortion ban gives health care providers an impossible choice: withhold medically necessary care or face prison time. In states where these bans have gone into effect, providers are waiting for medical conditions to worsen before assisting their pregnant patients, increasing the risk of sepsis and other life-threatening complications. This is immoral.

The extreme abortion ban, passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. Little, endangers the lives of pregnant Idahoans and undermines the duty hospitals have to treat and stabilize sick patients.

Idaho’s Republican politicians would rather let a pregnancy kill a person than allow them to receive an abortion. From the Idaho Statehouse to the office of the U.S. Department of Justice, Democrats are fighting for access to reproductive health care.”

Idaho Republicans Risk State’s Manufacturing Jobs to Play Politics
By Chair Laureen Necochea

July, 28, 2022

Idaho Republicans voted against a bill to make U.S semiconductor manufacturers competitive globally, create jobs in Idaho, and lower the price of goods


This Week, Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Representatives Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson voted against the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act – legislation to create jobs in Idaho and secure our domestic supply chains. This bill could have significant positive impacts on Idaho’s economy; semiconductor devices are the state’s leading export.

“Idaho’s computer chip manufacturing industry provides good jobs and is critical to our state’s economy. The CHIPS and Science Act is a popular, bipartisan bill that will ensure our manufacturers stay competitive on a global scale. Without domestic computer chip production, our nation is vulnerable from both a security and a supply chain perspective. I can’t understand why Idaho’s Republican Congressman would play politics with a core component of our state’s economy,” said Idaho Democratic Party Chair Lauren Necochea.

According to the Washington Post, the bill that Idaho Republicans voted against, “would provide $52 billion in subsidies to domestic semiconductor manufacturers…in a bid to strengthen the United States’ competitiveness and self-reliance in what is seen as a keystone industry for economic and national security.” The U.S. Census Bureau reports semiconductor devices are Idaho’s leading export, valued at $265 million in 2020. Idaho’s semiconductor industry supports more than 8,200 high-paying jobs, with an output valued at $2.3 billion and 2.84 percent of Idaho’s GDP.

By Terry Gilbert, Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

July, 20, 2022

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I have concluded after reading the 2022 Idaho Republican platform on education that it could have been enthusiastically adopted by the southern segregationists of the 1950s. It would be equally popular with the anti-public school libertarians and fat-cat privateers of today.

It is a document written in anticipation of eventually replacing public schools with a hodgepodge of charter schools, homeschools, private and parochial schools. It clearly reveals a long-term strategy on the part of Idaho Republicans of attacking public education and public educators so that our citizens look with disfavor on our public education system.

The GOP platform calls for encouraging the non-use of public schools and other forms of so-called “parents ‘ choice,” and references non-public education options throughout the document. In other words, Idaho Republicans want public money to go to private, for-profit schools.

The Republican Far Right platform could have been dictated – and probably was – by the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

In recent months, we have all become quite aware of continuing attempts by Republicans to indoctrinate the public by claiming that Idaho teachers are educating our students in critical race theory, an imaginary threat created to scare parents. The irony is that this platform itself is a classic case of indoctrination. Consider the following fuzzy criticisms that the platform leaves undefined:

•“Social emotional learning,” which, in the real world, means helping students learn critical life skills such as self-management;

•”Diversity,” which, in the real world, means learning to accept

people other than one’s immediate family and friends, a crucial attitude in a nation of 330 million people;

•”Equity,” which, in the real world, means striving for justice for all, and the list goes on.

In other words, the Idaho GOP platform tilts at educational windmills and attempts to describe positive educational outcomes as somehow threatening. At the same time, it refers in a positive light to “replacement theory,” which is a White Nationalist call to restrict our country to whites only, and “queer theory,” which encourages hatred of gay and lesbian citizens who are worthy of our love and support.

The platform professes support for “fair and equitable funding.” It sounds good, but the language refers not to funding of our public education system – the cornerstone of our democracy – but rather of funding for individual students.

True equitable funding has not been a hallmark of Republican legislators for some time now. Indeed, just this year, they cheated our children and their families by amassing a huge surplus while pushing the cost of education onto homeowners once again, through never-ending school bonds and levies.

The GOP platform totally fails to address the need to maintain our public school buildings. Why does the legislature continue to ignore the Idaho Supreme Court, which ruled way back in 2005 that Idaho’s funding of educational facilities was wholly inadequate to meet its Constitutional mandate? Indeed, a recent study revealed that after all these years of neglect it would now take $874 million just to bring our public school facilities up to acceptable standards.

The platform is similarly silent on a whole host of educational

issues, including threats to libraries and librarians, attacks on students’ freedom to read, and the fact that Idaho is one of only six states that do not offer any funding for preschool even while 57% of Idaho children under age six live with parents who work outside the home.

In sum, one may wish to read the Idaho Democratic Party education platform to get a broader understanding of the issues facing our public schools and their possible solutions.

The not-so-secret war on our public schools
By Terry Gilbert, Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

April, 12, 2022

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No se deje engañar este año electoral cuando escuche a los candidatos hablar sobre “elección de escuela”. Suena bien, pero en realidad es un ataque total a nuestras escuelas públicas por parte de aquellos que las destruirían con fines de lucro, a expensas de nuestros niños y de las escuelas que son el corazón y el alma de nuestras comunidades.

Como educador de toda la vida y candidato a Superintendente de Instrucción Pública, le insto a que esté atento a esas palabras de moda. El asunto es crítico, y su resultado puede ser determinado por mi raza.

Los defensores de la financiación estatal para las escuelas privadas dicen que los padres necesitan más "opciones" en la educación.  La verdad es que los padres tienen muchas opciones en lo que respecta a la educación: escuelas de vecindario, escuelas especializadas, escuelas chárter, escuelas innovadoras . Pero los especuladores quieren llenar sus propios bolsillos y matar lentamente de hambre a nuestras escuelas públicas.

Esta guerra encubierta se ha estado librando durante años, pero con el aumento del extremismo y la ausencia de liderazgo de nuestro Departamento de Educación del Estado, aquellos que reemplazarían las escuelas públicas con escuelas con fines de lucro han comenzado a surgir de la nada._cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ Sus portadores de agua son la Idaho Freedom Foundation y sus acólitos en la legislatura.  El presidente de la IFF llama a nuestras escuelas públicas "grotescas" y dice que "el gobierno debería no estar en el negocio de la educación.”  Una de sus fieles seguidoras en la Legislatura, Judy Boyle de Midvale, dice: “Nuestras escuelas públicas necesitan algo de competencia”.

La idea de que nuestras escuelas públicas son “grotescas” es en sí misma grotesca; en cuanto a la “competencia”, lo único que haría sería debilitar y eventualmente destruir nuestras escuelas públicas.

Durante toda la historia estadounidense, como les enseñé a mis alumnos, las escuelas públicas gratuitas han sido la base de nuestra democracia y están consagradas en las constituciones de muchos estados. El lenguaje de Idaho dice: “La estabilidad de una forma republicana de gobierno depende principalmente de la inteligencia de la gente, será el deber de la legislatura de Idaho establecer y mantener un sistema general uniforme y completo de escuelas comunes públicas y gratuitas”.

Podemos, y lo haremos, debatir si la legislatura ha cumplido con su mandato constitucional, pero no hay duda de que el concepto de escuelas con fines de lucro es un anatema para nuestra Constitución y nuestra forma de vida.

En mis más de 40 años de enseñanza, defensa de la educación pública y tutoría de estudiantes de primaria, he visto de cerca y personalmente la sabiduría de nuestro mandato constitucional.  Y puedo decirles que es la fundamento de nuestra sociedad, y nuestro último y mejor baluarte contra el autoritarismo y la tiranía.

Y no piense ni por un momento que la "elección de escuela", como se está propugnando en mi raza, es una idea de Idaho. -corporaciones educativas lucrativas y otras que comparten su agenda.  Es “dinero oscuro” en el peor sentido de esas palabras.

Así que no se dejen engañar este año electoral.  Y digamos a esos especuladores que regresen por donde vinieron.

One Bite at a Time
By Chair Laureen Necochea

La gran mayoría del Partido Republicano ha estado en el poder durante la mayor parte de las tres décadas. Controlan la Cámara de Representantes, el Senado y todos los cargos constitucionales de Idaho. Aún así, año tras año no logran implementar soluciones de sentido común que aborden estos problemas.


Hay un viejo chiste que dice: "¿Cómo te comes un elefante?" Desde que me convertí en presidente del Partido Demócrata de Idaho, este adagio me ha venido a la mente más de una vez. ¿La respuesta? Bueno, un bocado a la vez, por supuesto.


Usted y yo sabemos que hay grandes problemas en nuestro estado. Los habitantes de Idaho con ingresos fijos se ven obligados a abandonar sus hogares debido al aumento de los impuestos a la propiedad, las escuelas de todo Idaho deben aprobar bonos y gravámenes complementarios solo para mantener sus luces encendidas, y cada día es más difícil para las familias trabajadoras de Idaho salir adelante. ¿El otro elefante en la habitación? La gran mayoría del Partido Republicano ha estado en el poder durante la mayor parte de las tres décadas. Controlan la Cámara de Representantes, el Senado y todos los cargos constitucionales de Idaho. Aún así, año tras año, no logran implementar soluciones de sentido común que aborden estos problemas. 


Devolver el equilibrio a nuestro estado y desmantelar la gran mayoría del Partido Republicano puede parecer tan desalentador como comerse un elefante. Pero ya, los diecinueve demócratas en la Cámara y el Senado marcan una gran diferencia. Durante la Sesión Legislativa de 2022, la mayoría de los republicanos votaron en contra de financiar el Departamento de Salud Pública, la Corte Suprema, el jardín de infantes de día completo, viviendas asequibles para la fuerza laboral, la Comisión de Asuntos Hispanos, la Comisión sobre el Envejecimiento, la División de Recursos Humanos, la División de Gestión Financiera, la Oficina del Fiscal General, asistencia para el cuidado de niños, el Consejo de Discapacidades del Desarrollo, la Comisión de las Artes, el Consejo de Violencia Doméstica, el Consejo de Desarrollo de la Fuerza Laboral, la Oficina de Conservación de Especies y más. La única razón por la que se salvaron los presupuestos es porque todos los demócratas votaron a favor de estas agencias y servicios críticos.


¿Y si tuviéramos solo dos asientos más? Los demócratas podrían haber ahorrado el presupuesto original de la biblioteca que fue recortado en $3.5 millones en los momentos finales de la sesión. 


Entonces, así es como nos comemos un elefante. Puerta por puerta, conversación por conversación, dólar por dólar y carrera por carrera.  Es por eso que hemos creado un programa de organización durante todo el año que aplica presión constante en áreas clave en todo el estado y por qué estamos invirtiendo recursos históricos en campañas y comunidades en todo nuestro gran estado. 

Un mensaje de nuestro nuevo presidente:
laureen necochea

Sentado en el piso de la Cámara de Representantes de Idaho, tengo un asiento de primera fila para la locura. Los republicanos están literalmente tratando de encarcelar a los bibliotecarios, los médicos, las mujeres que reciben servicios de aborto y los padres amorosos que buscan atención médica basada en evidencia y que afirme el género para sus hijos.


Me siento honrado de haber sido elegido presidente del Partido Demócrata de Idaho. Mi madre me enseñó desde el principio la razón fundamental para ser demócrata: los demócratas se preocupan por las personas.

Sentado en el piso de la Cámara de Representantes de Idaho, tengo un asiento de primera fila para la locura. Los republicanos están literalmente tratando de encarcelar a bibliotecarios, médicos, mujeres que reciben servicios de aborto y padres amorosos que buscan atención médica basada en evidencia y que afirme el género para sus hijos. Se niegan a condenar a uno de los suyos cuando se presenta a una reunión de nacionalistas blancos. . Están tratando de facilitar que los propietarios sin escrúpulos engañen a los inquilinos. Y están haciendo todo lo posible para evitar que la gente, especialmente los jóvenes, voten.

¡Eso es lo que hacen al aire libre!


Detrás de puertas cerradas, los republicanos del condado de Kootenai conspiraron para hacerse pasar por demócratas y postularse como capitanes de distrito en nuestro partido, instalar a un "troll antisemita" como presidente del partido y canalizar nuestros fondos a los republicanos. ¿Se imaginan si los demócratas se hicieran pasar por candidatos republicanos para infiltrarse en el partido e instalar un liderazgo moralmente reprobable? Nunca haríamos eso y no solo porque los republicanos ya hicieron ese trabajo.

Tenemos el imperativo moral de contraatacar con todo lo que tenemos. Nuestro estado y su gente son demasiado importantes para dejar que sean víctimas de las teorías de conspiración, el extremismo y el odio que han infectado al Partido Republicano. También quiero compartir lo bueno que es posible cuando elegimos demócratas. ¡Los demócratas marcan la diferencia! Y cuando elegimos más demócratas, podemos marcar una mayor diferencia. En el piso de la Cámara, me siento junto a la representante Sally Toone, y ella tiene un pequeño bloc de notas donde toma nota cada vez que nuestro caucus marca la diferencia en una votación.

Hasta ahora, este año hemos ahorrado asistencia para el alquiler, asistencia para propietarios de viviendas, una iniciativa de crédito para pequeñas empresas, el Fondo de vivienda en el lugar de trabajo y más... a pesar de que la mayoría de los republicanos de la Cámara votaron en contra de estas inversiones en la gente de Idaho.

Con más demócratas, podemos hacer más bien. El año pasado, necesitábamos solo un demócrata más para salvar la subvención preescolar, $6 millones al año para que los niños pudieran tener oportunidades de aprendizaje temprano que de otro modo no tendrían.

Cada escaño importa en la Legislatura. ¡Y necesitamos demócratas en todos los espacios donde se toman decisiones! Todo el camino hasta el nivel de la comisaría donde organizamos nuestros vecindarios. Tenemos impulso, tenemos grandes candidatos y tenemos planes. El Partido Demócrata de Idaho es fuerte. Hace seis meses, nuestro partido contrató a Raquel, nuestra primera miembro del personal dedicada a organizar en la comunidad latina. Raquel se está esforzando al máximo y está logrando un progreso fantástico, pero necesita personal adicional debajo de ella. Ahora estamos organizando todo el año, hablando con los votantes los doce meses del año.

Estamos trabajando duro, pero no podemos hacerlo solos. Depende de cada demócrata de Idaho tomar una posición.

Si, en los últimos dos años, se ofreció como voluntario para los demócratas o contribuyó con los demócratas de Idaho a nivel de candidato, distrito legislativo, partido del condado o partido estatal, ¡gracias!  Este año, lo necesitamos para hacer todo eso de nuevo, además de reclutar de 5 a 200 amigos para que se unan a ti. Todos debemos profundizar más y trabajar más duro para cambiar este estado. Considere dar lo que pueda para hacer avanzar nuestra causa.  

Juntos podemos cambiar este estado. 

All Idaho children deserve safe, well-funded school facilities
By Idaho Senator David Nelson

Idaho public schools are the backbone of our local communities. But for many districts, facilities are crumbling due to age and a lack of resources needed to make repairs. This issue is further compounded by Idaho’s extreme population growth in recent years, leading to significant overcrowding in many schools, which can now only be fixed with new construction.


The Idaho Legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluations recently found 20% of schools should be retired in the next 10 years, and 53% need significant maintenance or else they will soon fall in that category as well. The estimated cost to bring just the buildings in the 77 districts surveyed up to a “good” condition is at least $847 million. It will take between $1-2 billion for all school districts.

And we still don’t have enough information to really know the extent of the problem. The last statewide facility condition assessment of K-12 public school buildings was in 1993. At the time, districts had a total of almost $700 million in building repairs, additional facilities, or upgrades. When adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars, that amount is $1.3 billion.

Currently, Idaho is almost last in the U.S. for funding school maintenance. We may be underfunding maintenance and capital investment by as much as $767 million per year due to the antiquated system we use to determine how much to spend.

A 2005 Idaho Supreme Court ruling found the legislature failed to meet its constitutional obligation to sufficiently fund school buildings. That still hasn’t changed. Of all 50 states, Idaho spent the least per student on school buildings at an average of $1,080. The national average was $2,306. The legislature has a yearly responsibility to revisit the formula used to calculate replacement value and revise, if necessary, but hasn’t done so since 2008.

Schools are forced to rely heavily on supplemental levies and bonds to address district needs — mechanisms designed as fallback systems that are now responsible for keeping the lights on. Since 2006, the year school funding shifted to the sales tax, 111 of 120, or 92%, school districts willing to run a bond had an active supplemental levy in place.

Only 40% of bonds — which require two-thirds voter approval — passed in that same time as well. If the voting requirement was lowered to 60%, most would have passed.

Idaho’s negligence isn’t just damaging our schools and communities but our children’s futures, and it presents a serious public safety issue. The legislature needs to address this issue immediately, and I want to see two things happen.

We should create a state bond matching fund that aims to match half of the funding for new construction and remodeling. All of Idaho’s neighboring states, except Nevada, have grant programs that help districts with the building plans and provide capital funding for projects. If we appropriated $100 million yearly to start, we could make a real difference.

We also need to change the bond approval rate from the current two-thirds standard. No neighboring state has that supermajority threshold. We should set it at 60% and consider having a voter turnout threshold added. The Idaho Constitution would need to be amended to do this, which allows all Idahoans to weigh in. This process should start now.

We can’t continue to kick the problem down the road and shirk our constitutional obligation. It is our job to ensure public schools receive adequate and uniform support, so we can best foster the next generation. But if safe facilities don’t exist, that can’t happen. Our educators and children deserve better. It’s beyond time to invest in Idaho schools

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