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"Courage is found in unlikely places."

- J.R.R. Tolkien

Hello Friends,

In the second week of the legislature, committees have been deeply entrenched in rule review.

State of the Judiciary
Chief Justice Roger S. Burdick presented the State of the Judiciary address to the Senate on Wednesday, January 18th where he discussed new technology and some of the state's judiciary challenges and successes.

iCourt, a transformative technology system, will take Idaho out of the paper-based legacy and into a web-based system. The transition will take place over the course of several years and updates can be tracked on their website . Additionally, the courts have completely revamped their accounting system for enhanced analytical capability, transparency, and accountability not only in the Supreme Court, but in each judicial district in the state.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed;
but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin


Week one and all I can say is we are hitting the ground running. There is lots of news in the education arena.

Without a doubt, education is foundational not only to our children's future, but also to the future of Idaho. I was pleased to hear focus on education funding in Governor Otter's State of the State address where he recommended investing an additional $58 million on top of the $75 million previously invested over the past two years in the career ladder pay-model to keep us on track for our goal. He also recommended funds allocated for leadership training, professional development, and evaluation framework training.

"The most common way people give up their power
is thinking they don't have any."
-Alice Walker

Hello Friends,

We are just a few short days away from the election! I know several of you have already voted early or by absentee (thank you!) but for those who haven't, details follow:

  1. You can register to vote on Election Day if you've lived in your home for at least 30 days. Bring a piece of ID and proof of residency to your polling location.
  2. Need to find your polling location? Click on this link.
  3. It's getting late to mail your absentee ballot. You can either fill out your absentee ballot and take it to Ada County Elections (400 N Benjamin Lane #100, Boise, ID 83704), or you can bring your ballot with you to your polling location on Election Day (Nov 8).

We often speak with pride about civic duty and responsibility. As proud Americans and Idahoans, it is incumbent on us to carry these valuable traditions into the voting booth fully equipped with information. I encourage you to read the Idaho Statesman Voter Guide to get a sense of your candidates and what they stand for before you vote this Tuesday. For additional information, check their websites.

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist

Before it's washed to the sea?

Yes, and how many years can some people exist

Before they're allowed to be free?

Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head

And pretend that he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

-Bob Dylan

Dear Friends,

Leaves are beautiful, vibrant shades of red and gold signaling that autumn is upon us. Many of you have already cast your vote, and others are making preparations to vote by mail prior to or in person on November 8th. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but an important reminder: your informed vote is absolutely critical to your future, the future of our families and to the future of our state. Your vote impacts the landscape of our lives. Please don't take this great privilege for granted! Here are some things that have been keeping me busy these final days before the election:

I've got to keep on pushing

I can't stop now

Move up a little higher

Some way, somehow

'Cause I've got my strength

And it don't make sense

Not to keep on pushin'

The Impressions (old school 1964 Soul)


Hello Friends,

As the summer comes to a close and Election Day approaches, I'm glad to share updates from around District 19 and the state.

End of Session Letter

"And so it is and so I let it be."

- Unknown

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are greatly honored to represent District 19 and proud to continue to work for you, our constituents. It has been enlightening to communicate with you, to hear your priorities and concerns during town halls, through email and at the many events taking place around the state.

Idaho Democrats have worked diligently this year and have celebrated many successes, including the release of our Creating Opportunity Plan, developed under the leadership of Representative Mat Erpelding. This plan outlines principles and legislative goals designed to help Idaho prosper. It focuses on investing in education, boosting our economy, balancing government, maintaining transparency, and protecting our quality of life.

Courage is Grace Under Pressure

- Ernest Hemingway

Women's Healthcare Rights

Here we go again. A pair of bills that would erode the reproductive rights of women were up for consideration this week. HB 516 requires physicians to provide any women considering an abortion a list of providers offering free ultrasound services, purportedly as a means of helping a woman make an informed decision about her pregnancy. Yet the bill doesn't identify qualifications for the service provider. This is particularly alarming since anyone could theoretically buy an ultrasound machine, pay a small fee, and set up shop. Professionals caution that certain vaginal ultrasounds can cause considerable fetal damage in the early weeks of the pregnancy. At best, this legislation is incomplete; at worst, it could be life threatening. The bill is now headed to the governor's office.

Constitutional Convention Bill

A piece of legislation (SB 1350) that would have set ground rules for state delegates at a Constitutional Convention was defeated by the Senate this week. According to Article V of the United States Constitution, a Constitutional Convention is a meeting that is called by the U.S. Congress, joining delegates from each state to deal with specific constitutional issues. In accordance with law, two-thirds of the states must agree to hold one before Congress can call the meeting. Not addressed in the bill, however, are the inherent dangers of such a convention, including a weak vetting process that could easily lead to extremist revisions of the constitution, benefitting only special interest groups. Notably, the country has not seen a Constitutional Convention in over 200 years. To my way of thinking, this is certainly no time to start.

In Honor of Women's History Month:

To the wrongs that need resistance,

To the right that needs assistance,

To the future in the distance,

Give yourselves.

- Carrie Chapman Catt (Suffragette)

School Board Elections

The Senate Education Committee stopped two bills that sought to negatively impact school board elections this week. The first, SB 1307, would change the school board election date from May of odd years, to the November general election in even years. The bill conflicts with efforts that were made in the 2011 session to consolidate elections. Several elections coincide with the current school board election cycle including: hospital boards, highway districts, library districts, and auditorium districts. Moving the school board elections to November would likely result in a decrease in an already-low voter turnout. The second bill, SB 1308, would change the board election process by requiring trustees to live in the zones they represent, while permitting voters across the district to vote for all trustees. The bill would require school board candidates to campaign across an entire school district, resulting in considerable cost to those running for an unpaid trustee position. I voted against both bills.

The measure of a country's greatness is its

ability to retain compassion in times of crisis.

Thurgood Marshall

Update: Women's Rights Under Attack

Unfortunately, both of the bills relating to women's productive rights, HB 516 and SB 1349, advanced this week, from the House State Affairs and Senate State Affairs Committees respectively. HB 516 seeks to compel a woman to obtain an ultrasound from a designated provider prior to having an abortion. SB1349 seeks to dictate handling of fetal tissue. I am disappointed that these pieces of legislation will be moving forward as it produces no tangible health benefits for women, and only infringes on their constitutional rights. I will continue to oppose the bills and work toward their defeat in the Senate.

"In the face of adversity, be grateful, for such opportunities do not come by often." Buddha

Greetings Friends!

Much appreciation to D19 constituents, friends, and neighbors who attended our Town Hall at Hidden Springs last week. Thanks for your questions, comments, and sharing your concerns. Having the opportunity to communicate in person is invaluable.

The pace steadily increased last week in the Legislature as we are rapidly approaching the last day legislation can be introduced through a non-privileged committee. As of Monday, February 22, new bills can only be introduced via privileged committees. Here is a look at just a few particularly notable bills currently under consideration.

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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