Little appoints Remington to District 2 House Seat. Gov. Brad Little has announced the appointment of Pastor Tim Remington of Coeur d’Alene to fill the Idaho House of Representatives seat for Legislative District 2B. Remington currently serves as pastor of The Altar church in Coeur d’Alene. He is the director of Good Samaritan Rehabilitation, a faith-based addiction recovery program.

“I’m a preacher and will stay a preacher,” Remington said. “What an honor to serve this state.” Remington’s term began Jan. 28, and continues until the term of office expires following the next general election.

“Pastor Remington’s experience will bring a valuable perspective to the Idaho Legislature,” Little said. “I greatly appreciate all of the District 2 applicants for their willingness to serve in this position.”

Sexual Assault Protection Order Legislation Printed. Last week, a bill allowing sexual assault survivors to seek civil protection orders, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise), was printed in House Judiciary and Rules. Currently, in cases of sexual assault, a victim can only seek a protection order if they are in a domestic relationship with the abuser. 

“Victims of domestic violence, stalking, and even telephone harassment can be granted civil protection orders; this bill will close a gap for victims of sexual assault so they can seek an order for protection,” Rep. Wintrow said. “Providing protection for victims of sexual assault under the law is critical for the physical and emotional well-being of victims.”

“Idahoans and their families are in desperate need of an amendment to the existing law in order to include those who have been affected by sexual assault. Law enforcement officials and other groups within the community have offered support. This bill is officially supported by Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, Idaho Sheriffs Association, the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.”

Wintrow said, “Often, those who experience sexual assault experience it by a perpetrator they do not know personally or they are not dating. Under the current Idaho code, if the victim is not in a domestic relationship with the person, they are unable to get a civil protection order. As I talk with community partners and advocates, it’s clear that this is a tool that would help sexual assault survivors in similar ways that are offered to victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes.”

Idaho Legislators Create Farm, Ranch, and Timber Caucus.  A bipartisan, bicameral organization, the Farm, Ranch, and Timber Issues Caucus will address issues of the citizens, communities, and counties who rely on them, and the affiliated industries. The caucus will explore ways to act together to ensure Idaho has a comprehensive policy strategy to ensure communities grow and flourish. Topics could include value-added processing, broadband, economic development, rural health care, education, and infrastructure. We will be a point of contact, so these issues are heard on every level within the statehouse and our agencies.

The four original founders include Representatives Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Moscow) and Sally Toone (D-Gooding) and Senators Bert Brackett (R-Twin Falls) and Janie Ward-Engelking (D-Boise). “The challenges facing our farmers, ranchers and loggers keep getting more complicated, so this is the perfect time for all of us to come together,” said Troy. 

“The uniqueness of a joint caucus can’t be overstated,” said Toone. “We will be bringing many perspectives together to focus on issues impacting all of Idaho.” 

 

Governor seeks applicants for Fish and Game Commission. Gov. Little is accepting applications for the Clearwater Region representative on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission following the resignation of Commissioner Bradley Melton.

Idaho law requires no more than four commissioners on the seven-member commission to be affiliated with any one political party. Little accepted Melton’s offer of resignation after he notified the governor’s office last week that he changed his affiliation from Republican to unaffiliated shortly before the governor’s office received his application last September.

“Transparency in government and public confidence in the Idaho Fish and Game Commission are paramount to me,” Little said. “Although Mr. Melton is qualified to fill the spot, he willingly stepped down so that I can appoint someone to the commission in accordance with the spirit of the law. I appreciate Mr. Melton for his willingness to serve as a Fish and Game Commissioner and for his continued contributions to Idaho as a businessman and volunteer in his community. I am grateful for his candor and wish him the best.”

Qualified individuals interested in applying for the vacancy are encouraged to submit applications to the Governor’s Office by March 13, 2020. Applications and other appointment information are available at https://gov.idaho.gov/appointments/.

Senator Nye Receives Award from Future Farmers of America. Sen. Mark Nye (D-Pocatello) has been awarded the Honorary State Future Farmers of America (FFA) for the state. The award was “presented for outstanding service and support to the Idaho FFA Association and agricultural education in Idaho.” Nye and House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Twin Falls) were the two legislators to receive the award.

“I am deeply honored that FFA recognized my work and support of agriculture in the Idaho legislature over the years,” Sen. Nye said. “Over 300 students participating in FFA across the state came to Boise to celebrate the importance of agriculture in Idaho. Meeting with the students has renewed my confidence in Idaho’s future. Agriculture is one of the most important cornerstones of our state’s success and we often forget that, whenever we eat a meal, we owe a debt of gratitude to our farmers.” 

Idaho Travel Council Announces February Meeting. The Idaho Travel Council (ITC) will meet on Feb. 5, 9 a.m. – noon, in Boardroom 5 at the Coeur d’Alene Resort (115 S. 2nd St., Coeur d'Alene) and on February 6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Hagadone Event Center (900 S. Floating Green Dr., Coeur d'Alene).

On Wednesday, the council will hear Idaho Commerce, Tourism, and grant updates; presentations from the Great American West and Idaho Tourism’s marketing and public relations agencies; grant scope of work change requests; action items and any new business. Thursday’s agenda will include a strategic planning section and action items.  

The ITC meeting is open to the public. View the full ITC agenda here. The ITC is an eight-member, private-sector advisory board appointed by the Governor. The goal of the ITC, as well as Idaho Tourism, is to grow Idaho’s economy by increasing visitor expenditures throughout the state. For a full list of ITC members, click here.

Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Investment Subcommittee Announces February Meeting. The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Investment Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Clearwater Conference Room at Idaho Commerce, 700 W. State Street, Boise.

Idaho Commerce manages the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) commercialization grant program which awards $950,000 in state funding to projects between Idaho university and industry partners geared toward commercialization initiatives. The IGEM Investment Subcommittee, comprised of both IGEM Council and non-council members, provides strategic direction and recommendations to the IGEM Council.   

During this meeting, the IGEM Investment Subcommittee will review three applications and provide recommendations to the IGEM Council.  Click here for the complete meeting agenda.

This IGEM meeting is open to the public. There will be an opportunity for public comments toward the end of the meeting. To learn more about IGEM, visit http://igem.idaho.gov 

Religious Freedom Resolution Held in Committee. The House State Affairs has voted to hold the Religious Freedom Day resolution in committee. The resolution declared January 16 Religious Freedom Day in Idaho. National Religious Freedom Day has been proclaimed on January 16 in a yearly statement by the President of the United States since 1993. On January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Representative Jake Ellis (D-Boise) sponsored the resolution in the House. “The aim of this resolution was for the legislative body to pause on January 16 every year to embrace the religious diversity of Idaho,” Ellis said. “Idahoans have the individual liberty to choose their religious beliefs and expressions. Legislators should embrace and celebrate the diversity of all their constituents. As a statesman, I represent all the beliefs and expressions in my district. The resolution was intended to honor the history of that value.” 

Sen. Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise) was in committee to answer questions. He had committed to sponsoring the resolution in the Senate and was disappointed that his legislative colleagues chose not to defend religious freedom in the statehouse. “Religious freedom is a human right. Idahoans have the right to be free from discrimination when they choose to express, or not express, religious beliefs,” Burgoyne said. “To embrace religious freedom is to embrace the diversity of all people. To be supportive of civil rights is to be supportive of religious freedom. When any person’s religious freedom is taken away, everyone’s freedom of religion and belief is at risk.”