Photo by David Rauzi
(L-R) State Representative John Rusche and State Senator Dan Schmidt spoke and answered questions at Saturday’s “No Baloney” luncheon at the Grangeville Senior Center.
As of Tuesday, February 9, 2016
GRANGEVILLE Electing Democrats in Idaho, including Idaho County, takes work in developing relationships and talking about common values state residents cherish as part of living here, according to Idaho State Senator Dan Schmidt (Dist. 5), and it takes perseverance.
But what if they don’t listen, someone asked: Do we then get loud?
“If you’re getting loud, eventually they’re not going to hear you,” said State Representative John Rusche, Minority Leader, (Dist. 6),” and you’ve probably stopped listening, too.”
The Democrat legislators spoke to approximately 24 in attendance at last Saturday’s “No Baloney Legislators Lunch” at the Grangeville Senior Center, sponsored by the Idaho County Democrats. The two-plus-hour event touched on a few legislative happenings – including Medicaid expansion and raising the minimum wage — but mainly served to rally local Democrats on opportunities for electability, and promote their party’s focus to lead by example and promote ideas for success.
This came two days following announcement in Boise of Creating Opportunity, a multi-point plan focused on a range of state issues from economics and education to governmental accountability, which was developed from opinions of Idaho residents and business owners.
“Idahoans want and value the quality of life they have here,” Rusche said, “and they’re tired of losing their rights, whether it’s in voting or with other issues that make it harder for them to participate in their democracy.”
In a press conference last Thursday, Feb. 4, in Boise, Democrats said they would submit about 17 bills this session that support their plan, which focuses on six areas: education investment, creating opportunities and improving income, governmental accountability, keeping communities strong and protecting public lands, security for seniors, and protecting voting rights.
Plans include raising the minimum wage to $9.75 by July 2017, establishing a tuition stabilization fund, providing business an incentive to pay employee’s tuition, creating an inspector general’s office to investigate government fraud, and elections measures such as permanent absentee voting and online voter registration.
View the plan online at http://idahodems.org .
“This is the blueprint we can use to guide our discussions,” Rusche said, and in promoting ideas and building relationships, “people will see what we are doing, and hopefully we’ll take over districts.”