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The time is always right to do what is right.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dear Friends,

We're back in the Legislature working for the people of Idaho.

State of the State Address
Governor C. L. "Butch" Otter presented his final State of the State address on Monday, January 8th.

Of note, the Governor announced a proposal for significant tax cuts for both individuals and corporations. He also indicated he will continue to engage on issues related to education and health care. He did not, however, mention the vital Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is a major concern. Federal funding for this important program expires in March. Without state intervention, many of Idaho's children will be outside the arc of protection for healthcare.

The Governor's proposed tax cut of nearly $100 million will be accomplished to the detriment of Idaho families with children, who will bear the brunt of the cost.

The blow to higher education comes on the heels of the Governor's failure to take action to stop perpetual tuition increases in Idaho. The inadequate funding of K-12 results in the need for many communities to seek bonds and levies to keep schools running.

Finally, the healthcare solution the Governor has proposed is not a solution at all; it will do nothing to lower health care costs or deliver help to those who most need it.

Martin Luther King, Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day
On Sunday evening I had the honor to lead a candlelight march at the College of Idaho in commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday I presented the Governor's MLK/Idaho Human Rights Day proclamation during a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. The keynote speaker was Francisco Salinas, Director for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Boise State University. He reminded us of the relevance of Dr. King's inspired "I Have a Dream" speech today, and that although there has been progress we have not yet arrived at the mountain top of which Dr. King spoke.

The Idaho Medal of Achievement Commission nominated the late Idaho human rights leader Marilyn Shuler for the Idaho Medal of Achievement. The medal recognizes individual Idahoans for their "exceptional, meritorious, and inspirational" service to the people of the state. On Monday, January 15, I was pleased to attend a ceremony in which the Governor presented the medal posthumously to Shuler.

These events were very timely; they encouraged us to reflect on the dignity and worth of all people, and to recommit to the ongoing struggle for equality.

Minority Leadership Calls on Idaho's Congressional Delegation to Act
On Friday afternoon Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, Minority Caucus Chair Maryanne Jordan, and I sent a letter to Idaho's Congressional Delegation demanding that they denounce the President's horrific and racist remarks about people from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries. We said, in part, "Here in Idaho and across the nation, communities are enriched by the business, educational and cultural contribution of immigrants. They come here for the same reason that many of our relatives did - to build a better life for themselves and their children. The idea that we should somehow pick and choose based on race is appalling... The president's remarks demean us all."

Respectful Workplace Training
The Legislature is developing a policy on upholding a respectful workplace. Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, and I serve as co-chairs of the committee which will create the final version of the Legislature's new sexual harassment policy. The committee will include a wide variety of folks for whom the Statehouse is part of their workplace. Last Tuesday all legislators, legislative staff, and others who work in the Capitol on a regular basis attended a respectful workplace training.

I support the Higher Ed Task Force recommendations, which include $42 million to continue moving us toward full funding of a number of educational endeavors, such as the teacher career ladder, "student mastery" programs, and career counseling for students. We can prepare young Idahoans for the jobs of the future only by fully investing in our public schools and making post-high school education more affordable for Idaho's working families. Senator Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, is working on legislation to help make these recommendations a reality and I will be cosponsoring the bills.

Policy Pub Speaker Series
Next week, I will join Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, and Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, in a panel discussion hosted by the University of Idaho's McClure Center for Public Policy Research. The event will be held from 5:30-6:30 pm on Monday, January 22 at Pengilly's Saloon in Boise. Join us!

Committee Assignments

  • Education
  • State Affairs
  • Transportation

Meet My Legislative Attaché
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Joshua Hayes-Fugal, who is joining the Senate Minority Staff team as my Legislative Attaché. Josh received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at Boise State University in December of 2017. He was raised in Idaho, lived outside of the state for a few years, and returned to Boise in 2015. He is excited to join the Idaho Senate staff and to support the important work that we do at the Legislature. You can reach him at (208) 332-1416 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

District 19 Town Halls

  • Join me and Representatives Mat Erpelding and Melissa Wintrow at our Town Hall meetings!
  • January 24th: The Andrus Center at 6:30 pm
  • January 31st: Shadow Hills Elementary School at 7:00 pm
  • February 7th: Hidden Springs Clubhouse at 7:00 pm
  • February 15th: location and time to be announced

Here to Serve You
My goal is to address the immediate needs of District 19 while working strategically toward long term solutions. It is my honor to serve you in the Idaho State Senate. Know that your letters, emails, texts, and calls are invaluable. I want to hear what is most important to you and your family.

You can reach me at (208) 332-1339 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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Cherie Buckner-Webb
Senate D-19 Campaign
P.O. Box 9813
Boise, ID 83707

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Phone: 208-861-5482