During the recent legislative session, accomplishments in which I was directly involved include:
- Enactment of a law to help protect victims of domestic violence by providing address protection;
- Avoiding cuts in Headstart funding;
- Providing leadership in the discussion to block State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna’s iSTARS compensation plan for teachers – work will continue to develop an acceptable plan;
- Amended Idaho Code to enhance opportunities for children of charter school teachers to enroll in the charter school;
- Passed legislation for special license plate to increase funding for stewardship in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness;
- Passed legislation that bars use of your tax dollars to use severance pay for payment by an employer toward purchase of membership services into the Public Employee Retirement System;
- Protected public funding for Idaho Public Television.
- Increasing state payments to foster parents.
Issues to address in the 2010-2012 Legislative Sessions:
- Enact a law permitting a local option sales tax.
- Remove the sales tax on food.
- Eliminate ineffective and unfair exemptions.
- Level the playing field for businesses by taxing Internet sales.
- Improve funding for safe roads and bridges.
- Provide Idaho Earned Income Credit at 10% of federal level.
- Eliminate “special deals” for certain privileged taxpayers.
- Assure access to affordable high quality healthcare.
- Increase community treatment for substance abuse and mental health.
- Higher standards for childcare providers.
- Require school districts to offer kindergarten.
- Increase focus on pre-kindergarten education.
- Create office of Early Childhood Affairs.
- Work with educators on pay and teacher evaluation plans.
- Salary equity for university teachers and researchers.
- Improve financial aid for post-secondary education.
- Restore and improve support for K-12 and higher education.