Reclaim Idaho Holding “Idaho Speaks” Town Hall on Initiative Rights in Twin Falls.

Reclaim Idaho, the non-partisan grassroots organization “responsible for getting Medicaid Expansion on last year’s ballot,” continues its statewide “Idaho Speaks” Town Hall series on citizen ballot initiative rights in Twin Falls. Both sides of this constitutional issue will be presented throughout the event. During the 2019 Legislative Session, lawmakers nearly pushed through legislation that would have virtually repealed this right (it was later vetoed) which has been part of Idaho’s Constitution for more than a century. It is likely this issue will reemerge in the 2020 session.

It will be held Wednesday, August 7, 2019 @ 6:30pm, College of Southern Idaho, Fine Arts Building, Room 119, 315 Falls Ave, Twin Falls, ID 83301.

Former Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Jones will be traveling to Twin Falls to speak in favor of preserving Idaho’s citizen ballot initiative rights. Twin Falls-area legislators are being invited to present the opposing side of the issue. If they are unavailable, Reclaim Idaho Communications Director Jeremy J. Gugino will debate Justice Jones.

The Twin Falls event will be the fourth of the “Idaho Speaks” Town Hall tour which is traveling across Idaho. The kickoff in Boise earlier this month drew more than 100 people including Sen. Fred Martin (R-Boise). The Sandpoint Town Hall earlier this week drew a packed house which included Sen. Jim Woodward (R-Sagle), Tom Cleveland (Bonner Co. Republican Central Committee), and people from as far away as Metaline Falls, WA (about 90 miles). Representatives Jim Addis (R-Coeur d’Alene) and Paul Amador (R-Coeur d’Alene) are scheduled to attend the Coeur d’Alene Town Hall on July 30, 2019.

Reclaim Idaho is the nonpartisan, volunteer organization responsible for getting Medicaid Expansion on the November 2018 ballot. The measure passed with 61% of the statewide vote. In addition to providing healthcare access to tens of thousands of Idahoans, Medicaid Expansion is expected to bring back $400 million in federal funds to Idahoshore up Idaho’s rural hospitals, and create thousands of jobs around the state.

Statement by Idaho Democratic legislators. Democratic members from both the House and Senate recently received postcards in the mail that mocked Boise State President Marlene Tromp and several state education officials, apparently for their support of diversity programming in higher education.

Idaho universities, including Boise State University, have worked hard to provide all students with the tools they need to succeed in their education. As we explained in our letter to President Tromp concerning inclusion programs, Idaho cannot succeed without diversity. Exclusionary practices will destabilize our economy and reduce our quality of life.

We do not believe that the success of our state is a laughing matter. We are disappointed that the group that sent the postcards seeks only to sow division and create a hostile environment. In higher education, as in Idaho generally, we need the opposite: inclusiveness and a welcoming environment. Idaho universities and Idaho Democrats have shown that they are focused on making college safe, affordable, and accessible for all students. Post-secondary education continues to be underfunded by the legislature and condemning diversity programs is a diversion from the real issue. Over the last several years, the legislature has decreased the percentage of the budget they are willing to allocate to Idaho universities. The legislature needs to focus on implementing financially responsible solutions to making college more affordable.

Our students’ education should not be treated as a political football. The dark-money group behind these postcards should end its attacks upon those who are trying to do the hard work that needs to be done. Idaho students deserve better. We sincerely hope that our Republican colleagues will stand with us against this hateful rhetoric and work with us to develop real solutions for our students. We urge President Tromp and all other Idaho universities to continue programs that increase academic achievement, embrace diversity, and ensure that every citizen has access to a successful education.

Gov. Brad Little’s public schedule for this week

TUESDAY, July 30, 2019

Governor Little will host Capital for a Day in Grangeville at the Grangeville Senior Center, 108 Grangeville Truck Rte., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, July 31, 2019

Governor Little will speak at the School Administrators Summer Leadership Conference at the Boise Centre at 8:40 a.m.

Governor Little will deliver the annual Governor's Address to the Boise Business Community, hosted by the Boise Metro Chamber at JUMP, the Pioneer Room, 6th floor, at 12 p.m.

THURSDAY, August 1, 2019

Governor little will sign a proclamation of Idaho Health Center Month in the Ceremonial Office at 3 p.m.