EYE ON SUN VALLEY
This year’s legislature will also be under the gun to try to improve the Department of Corrections, which sends a thousand inmates to Texas because Idaho prisons are busting at the seams. The Department of Corrections wants $500 million to build a new facility without doing anything about why it’s busting at the seams, Stennett said.
“If someone’s caught with small amount of marijuana, do we really want to spend tens of thousands of dollars to incarcerate them, while rendering them unproductive, rather than enroll them in a good drug program?” she (Sen. Michelle Stennett) asked.
Stennett also warned that many taxpayers may take a major hit on their tax bills this year because no one told them to change their W-4s what with personal and dependent exemptions being eliminated and most itemized deductions being eliminated or capped.
“There’s going to be a lot of outrage,” she predicted. “I’d suggest people go to Idaho State Tax Commission and find out how new tax structure will affect you.”
Stennett praised Blaine County for having the highest voter turnout in the state with 90 percent of registered voters going to the polls. Stennett noted that Democrats gained one seat in Senate, meaning seven of 35 senators are Democrat. They lost one Senate seat by 11 votes but gained three seats in the House.
“We went from 17 percent to 20 percent of the legislature. It doesn’t sound like much but I’ll take every bit of it,” she said.
Stennett said Blaine County residents can put themselves in any committee room via PBS livestream.
“But if you can, it’s can be powerful to be there in person,” she said. “The committee is where the real work done. And it’s where citizens can have their say. Once a bill hits the floor, you can be in the gallery. But you can’t say anything.”
Rep. Muffy Davis will serve on the Judiciary, Rules and Administration committee, as well as Transportation & Defense and Health & Welfare. Davis hopes to put out 2- to 5-minute videos every Friday before she comes home for the weekend.
“I’m looking forward most to the day we get Medicaid Expansion up and running,” she said. “That’s why I got into this to begin with.”
Rep. Muffy Davis at email@example.com or call 208-332-1174.
Rep. Sally Toone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call 208-332-1032.
Sen. Michelle Stennett at email@example.com or call 208-332-1353.
Rep. Muffy Davis and her daughter Elle at the Idaho Inaugural Ball.