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Even some Republicans call this Idaho legislature ‘worst session ever’

By Scott McIntosh, Opinion Writer

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“The worst legislative session ever.”

That’s the refrain heard from across the state this year, as Idaho lawmakers drew not only the usual anger from the Left and Democrats, but also frustration from Republicans and longtime moderates who say this session is more out of control than usual.

Scott McIntosh is the Idaho Statesman opinion writer.

“We’ve had some really bad ones in the past, but this one is certainly the most disappointing,” former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist said in a telephone interview. “Each year I am completely blown away that our government does not have a coordinated legislative agenda that truly addresses the issues we face.

He cited issues as important as property taxes, state-wide infrastructure and education funding.

Instead, Idaho lawmakers have spent most of their time trying to usurp the power of the governor, attorney general, cities and states, school boards and districts, even voters, and they acted out a seemingly endless series of bangs. topics that don’t have a substantial impact, such as public art, Powerball, and social justice. Lawmakers met again this week after a two-week COVID-induced hiatus and picked up where they left off, many of them still not taking necessary health precautions.

While Ahlquist has not been specific on particular seats or strategy at this point, he has said he will support efforts to oust some Republican lawmakers.

In part one of a two-part series on “Worst Session Ever,” I examine both informal and formal efforts to change the Idaho legislature.

Still no masks

We now know how much the COVID-19 induced suspension of the Idaho legislature is going to cost us taxpayers. Unfortunately, when lawmakers returned to town, most of them still weren’t wearing masks or socially distancing themselves, things that could prevent another outbreak, another break and more cost to taxpayers.

Love the foothills to death

The foothills are one of the most often cited reasons people love to live in Boise, not only for the scenic backdrop, but because the area is a vital source of outdoor recreation that so many Treasure Valley residents adore. . Sadly, we love the Foothills to death.

This is why new rules are needed and others may be on their way.

Defending diversity

Four U.S. Army veterans and Boise State University alumni wrote a guest notice, an open letter to Idaho lawmakers, defending diversity programs at Boise State. You can read their letter here.

Rules of the courthouse

After the hubbub over Ammon Bundy’s refusal to wear a mask in court, Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan wrote a guest notice this week explaining why rules are in place. place to keep everyone safe in state courthouses.

‘Merchants of misfortune’

The Idaho Freedom Foundation continues its bizarre obsession with allegations of indoctrination of preschool children through a federal grant intended to help children show up ready for school by the time they reach kindergarten. Idaho Early Childhood Education Association executive director Beth Oppenheimer dispels myths about the grant and its organization in this opinion piece.

What you say

This week we received letters about the hardships of buying a home in Boise, the Idaho legislature’s attack on education, infrastructure spending, teaching racism and sexism in schools, and a few letters about Idaho’s closed primary.

You can read these letters and more by clicking here.

You can submit a letter to the editor or to a guest’s opinion by clicking here.

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