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The “what” of legislative actions is clearer than the “why” The “what” of legislative actions is cle

Luke Mayville and the Reclaim Idaho volunteers deserve a thank you from Idaho voters. This year the Reclaim team was active in protecting the Medicaid Expansion we voted into being, in fighting to stop education funds from going to private schools and parents who keep their children from school, and in saving our rights to initiatives and referendums.

Idaho is a better place because of their efforts.

SJR 101 aimed to make initiatives and referendums impossible. The bill’s sponsor assured the Senate and the House that the bill would require only about 1,000 signatures per district–just six percent of the number who voted in the last general election. Mayville and others pointed out that the resolution actually said six percent of all registered voters at the time of the last election. For a district with 32,000 registered voters and 60% turnout, that’d mean 1920 signatures rather than 1152.

The resolution passed the Senate quickly but never got the needed votes in the House.

Could the SJR 101’s sponsor really not understand what the four lines of the proposed change mean? Or were he and his supporters trying to sell a lie?

Last session legislators passed bills making criminals of doctors who perform what would be considered proper treatment in much of the United States. In 2022, the outlawed treatment was abortion; this year it’s puberty blockers for children with transgender dysphoria.

Now hospitals in Sandpoint and Emmett are closing their birthing units because of staffing problems, and Idaho young people in medical school feel they can’t practice medicine here without violating their oath as doctors.

Could legislators not anticipate these consequences?

Idaho has a long-standing doctor shortage. And in 2020 the March of Dimes reported that “more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age live in maternity care deserts”; 1,095 counties had no obstetric provider.

This year legislators responded by making the line between legal and illegal abortions clearer–so we can all be sure actions to save the health of the mother are not legal. And they sunset the agency studying the causes and prevention of maternal deaths (HB 081).

Why? Either many Republican legislators are unwise or deceptive–and perhaps a little of both. Believing what one wants to believe is not an asset for legislators.

And what did legislators think would happen when they passed a law saying parents could sue libraries and schools if their child gets possession of materials considered “harmful.” Do they understand that schools and libraries already have rules against items generally regarded as harmful? These rules don’t ban either pictures of Michaelangelo’s statue “David” or the comical drawings in “Captain Underpants.''

One public librarian has said the logical thing to do is to stop giving minors library cards. Only those over 19 will be able to check out items.

Is that the legislators’ intent? Or is it to push professional librarians to leave Idaho? Or to reward sue-happy parents?

It took voters years to find out that the many legislators are out to destroy public schools. The 2010 education cuts were supposedly done in order to cut taxes and attract hundreds of new businesses to the state.

The Luna Laws, which erased teachers' rights to negotiate working conditions like a 20-minute duty-free lunch, were to prevent the Idaho Education Association from undermining control by local school boards.

Today the power of parents to choose is cited as the reason for channeling education funding to parents and private and religious schools.

But we’re catching on that the aim is to destroy diversity in schools and prevent students from getting to know people different from themselves.

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