Monthly Archives: October 2018

A bipartisan solution on climate issues?

A former Republican congressman from South Carolina and a former Democratic congressman from Washington visited the Palouse this week to discuss ways the major political parties can work together to address global climate change.

BairdInglis

(Former U.S. Reps. Brian Baird and Bob Inglis, speaking to a University of Idaho class on October 30, 2018)

Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1992, having never run for office before. He represented Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 1993-1998. In 2004, he was re-elected to Congress and served until losing re-election in the South Carolina Republican primary of 2010. Inglis describes himself as an “energy optimist and climate realist.” In 2012, he launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative on climate solutions.

Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat, served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Washington State’s 3rd Congressional District. He retired from Congress in 2011. Baird is co-chair of Washington Independents, founded in 2017 to support centrist candidates for public office.

In an interview with Idaho Public Radio, Inglis said we’re not having a conversation at all on climate and that needs to change:

Baird told us young people he had spoken to earlier in the day were disheartened by the lack of political will in the country:

Both men spoke at the University of Idaho on Tuesday in the GEOG 435: Climate Change Mitigation course, and then later in the day also presented a program at the Foley Institute at Washington State University.

In their conversation with us, both noted that positive things were happening and that bipartisan solutions on climate were possible.

“All these wonderful young people, whose future is at stake, have been told to surrender,” Baird said, but added, “There are some really good people, like Bob Inglis, working for real solutions that would solve this. We get one shot at this planet.”

“It’s going to take Republicans with Democrats doing that,” Inglis said. “If you look at the history of really important change in this country that’s durable, it’s always been bipartisan.”

Inglis believes that by 2022, there’ll be 25 House Republicans and 15 Senate Republicans ready to talk about a carbon dioxide tax that’s worldwide and economy-wide.

Posted October 31, 2018.

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Foreman, Nelson: Idaho District 5 Race

Sen. Dan Foreman (R), the incumbent, and David Nelson (D), the challenger, are the candidates running for Idaho District Five State Senator in the November 2018 General Election.

Both candidates spoke at a forum on October 15, 2018, at the University of Idaho, sponsored by the student Center for Volunteerism and Social Action.

Oct15Forum1

The first question at the forum asked the candidates to state why they were qualified to serve in the Idaho State Legislature. Here is what the candidates said in their responses, which were limited to one minute according to the event’s format.

Sen. Dan Foreman:

David Nelson:

Websites for the candidates:

Sen. Dan Foreman

https://www.facebook.com/ForemanforIdahoSenate/

David Nelson

https://www.facebook.com/davidnelsonforidaho/

The polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on November 6. Early voting is available in Latah County during regular business hours at the county auditor’s office, 522 South Adams Street, through November 2.

Posted October 30, 2018

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Gannon, Goesling: Idaho District 5 Race

Rep. Margaret Gannon (D), the incumbent, and Bill Goesling (R), the challenger, are the candidates running for Idaho District Five State Representative, Position A, in the November 2018 General Election.

Both candidates spoke at a forum on October 15, 2018, at the University of Idaho, sponsored by the student Center for Volunteerism and Social Action.

Oct15Forum1

The first question at the forum asked the candidates to state why they were qualified to serve in the Idaho State Legislature. Here is what the candidates said in their responses, which were limited to one minute according to the event’s format.

Rep. Margaret Gannon:

Bill Goesling:

Websites for the candidates:

Rep. Margaret Gannon

https://www.facebook.com/GannonForIdaho/

Bill Goesling

https://www.facebook.com/GoeslingforIdaho/

The polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on November 6. Early voting is available in Latah County during regular business hours at the county auditor’s office, 522 South Adams Street, through November 2.

Posted October 30, 2018

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Troy, Sorensen: Idaho District 5 Race

Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy (R), the incumbent, and Laurene Sorensen (D), the challenger, are the candidates running for Idaho District Five State Representative, Position B, in the November 2018 General Election.

Both candidates spoke at a forum on October 15, 2018, at the University of Idaho, sponsored by the student Center for Volunteerism and Social Action.

Oct15Forum1

The first question at the forum asked the candidates to state why they were qualified to serve in the Idaho State Legislature. Here is what the candidates said in their responses, which were limited to one minute according to the event’s format.

Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy:

Laurene Sorensen:

Websites for the candidates:

Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy

http://www.troyforidaho.com/

Laurene Sorensen

https://www.laureneforlegislature.com/

The polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on November 6. Early voting is available in Latah County during regular business hours at the county auditor’s office, 522 South Adams Street, through November 2.

Posted October 29, 2018

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Postel has ‘Realistic Optimism’ About Water Challenges

Idaho Public Radio’s Glenn Mosley reports.

Listen:

Sandra Postel says her book “Replenish” is the most optimistic book she’s ever written. She told the Palouse Basin Water Summit on October 18 that’s because she’s coming from a place of realistic optimism–  and while the water cycle is broken, she can see solutions working to fix it.

Postel, a former Fresh Water Fellow at the National Geographic Society, praised collaborative solutions, including those on the Palouse:

Sandra Postel: “One of the things I have been so impressed with as I’ve been learning about your challenges here is this collaboration across state lines to deal with water. That is not a common thing to find, between countries or between states.”

Many challenges remain. On issue of global water depletion, Postel told the summit that 71% of irrigated agriculture and nearly half of large cities experience at least periodic water shortage.

But Postel said conservation was one of the unsung, ongoing successes in the country. She said she’s been saying it for thirty years and it’s still as true as ever– that conservation and efficiency are the most cost-effective ways to meet new water demands.

I’m Glenn Mosley.

Posted October 19, 2018.

The Palouse Basin Water Summit:

http://www.palousewatersummit.org/

Sandra Postel:

https://www.postcarbon.org/our-people/sandra-postel/

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Lawmakers Say Legislature Will Need to Act on Medicaid Issue

Even if Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion initiative, is passed by Idaho voters at the polls in November and becomes law, state lawmakers say they will still have to act.

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(Photo: from the Idaho Voters Information Pamphlet, Idaho Secretary of State’s Office)

“Even if it passes and it becomes law, all it says is merely, in the legislation, we shall expand Medicaid to cover this population,” District 4 Rep. Paul Amador said at an October 5 legislative panel in Moscow. “But it doesn’t provide the funding mechanism, it doesn’t provide the details behind it, so irrespective of whatever happens with the initiative, the legislature has to act.

“That’s not including the fact that there may be some members that don’t like the fact that it passes and try to make a run at it,” Amador said. “Irrespective of, you know, if everyone thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, in the legislature we would still have to do something.”

“Excellent point. So, he’s referring to the appropriation,” John Watts, a lobbyist with Veritas Advisors and moderator of the panel discussion, said. “Because the Medicaid program is a federal-state matching program. Right now it’s roughly 65-35, I think it’s 68%, precisely, federal money. The rest is state appropriation money, which they have to appropriate. So if Medicaid expansion passes, for awhile it’ll be 90-10 and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Libraries

“It doesn’t say Medicaid expansion starts tomorrow,” District 6 Rep. Thyra Stevenson said. “It directs the state to update the state health plan.

“The state health plan then gets sent to the federal organization, CMS, who manages all of this Medicaid business,” Stevenson said. “Then CMS looks at it…there’s still plenty of things that need to be worked out, and this is where the legislature comes into play….What the legislature needs to do, if it passes,  is work within the state health plan mandates…waivers may need to be applied for…it’s not quick.”

District 5 Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy told the audience the state has health care issues beyond this issue.

“How are we going to be providing health care?’ Troy said. “Idaho has a doctor shortage.  We’re one of the states that has the least number of doctors per capita. How are we going to make sure we are attracting doctors here?

“The legislature has really tried to step up and fund more Idaho students going through the WWAMI program,” Troy said. “And then also seats down at the medical school in Utah. So, we’ve really got to look holistically at how we’re delivering health care in Idaho, and how can we make sure that we have enough doctors to provide good health care. Because, we can have the greatest health care in the world, but if there’s no doctors, it’s not going to work.”

The panel discussion was held as part of the 2018 Idaho Libraries Association conference in Moscow on October 5.

Posted October 7, 2018

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Lawmakers Talk Issues with Idaho Library Association

by Glenn Mosley

Idaho Public Radio
Proposition 2 on Medicaid expansion, the school funding formula, the tax code, suicide
prevention, and early learning were all among the topics discussed October 5 at a
legislative panel held as part of the Idaho Libraries Association conference in Moscow.
IMG_4687
District 5 Rep. Caroline Nilsson Troy, District 4 Rep. Paul Amador, and District 6 Rep.
Thyra Stevenson took part. John Watts of Veritas Advisors was the moderator.
“Make no mistake,” Watts told the audience. “Whether you are a public library, an
academic library, a university library, you are regulated by government because your
authority to even exist is in the Idaho Code, which are the state statutes.”
Watts said it’s important to interact with legislators no matter where you live.
“If you are a public library, every issue in the state of Idaho probably walks through your
door at some point,” Watts said, noting there are over 100 libraries in the state.
The lawmakers were asked to identify an issue they think the Idaho State Legislature
should work on in the 2019 session.
“My range is more in the way of the revenue and taxation part of being in the
legislature,” Rep. Stevenson said. “All of the tax-related things are important, and our tax
code really needs a lot of work,” she said. “Most states do that every so many years, but
we have not done that and we really need to.”
“I think there’s one that’s really clear that we need to work on and we are going to work
on for sure, and it has to do with education this year,” Rep. Amador said. “Our school
funding formula– we’ve been studying changing that for the last three years, there’s
been an interim committee. School funding formulas exist all across the United States
and ours is incredibly outdated. One of the biggest issues with it that we’re probably
going to tackle is how money follows through to a student.”
Libraries
“I think Proposition 2 is probably the big issue that the Idaho Legislature is going to have
to deal with,” Rep. Troy said. “I think we’ll be looking at how we’re going to fund that if it
passes. I’ve also been trying to give some thought to what if it doesn’t pass because you’d
better have a Plan B because we can’t allow those folks to still be out there and not
getting any healthcare coverage.
“I always try to look at things through the lens of a rural legislator,” Troy said. “I
represent Latah County and Benewah County and quite frankly there are a lot of doors I
knock on and there are people who don’t have running water. There are people who
have their power turned off and on and off and on. There are a lot of rural issues out
there and the library is a safe place for them to go to solve those challenges.
“It’s easy when you live in Boise to think everybody has a computer at their house, and
so you can give these kids all of their homework to do online, and all of the research to
do online– doesn’t work in a rural community.  It’s shocking to me how few homes have
computers yet in rural communities. I think that’s a really important thing that I’m going
to continue to push– how is rural Idaho being left behind in Idaho, and how can we
make sure that that turns around, and I think that libraries are going to be a big part of
that,” Troy said.

 

The lawmakers were also asked what personal issues they planned to bring to the
legislature in the upcoming session.
Rep. Troy talked about her work in suicide prevention programs in Idaho, Rep. Amador
discussed early childhood education, and Rep. Stevenson said she’s concerned about
rural issues and education.
The 2019 Idaho legislative session convenes in January with a new governor. All three
representatives are running for reelection.
Posted October 6, 2018.
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