Guest Commentary

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It’s time for Idaho lawmakers to address education funding formula

Guest Opinion

Twenty years ago, the World Wide Web was an infant, Operation Desert Storm had just ended and The Grateful Dead played their last concert. It was also the last time the Idaho Legislature addressed the education funding formula, which drives a $1.6 billion annual budget and determines the education of Idaho’s children.

Presentation misrepresented by paper

Guest Opinion

I was disappointed to read the article “Conversation hits issues for county health,” and the opinion written by Mr. Rauzi “Addressing community problems starts with us “ (Wednesday, July 13). The information presented by Idaho County Free Press about the community gathering organized by Kirsten Jensen of U of I, Idaho County Extension Health, Nutrition and Fitness Educator, that discussed ways to prevent and fight childhood obesity couldn’t have been more misrepresented.

On the importance of mentoring

Guest Opinion

Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the importance of mentoring in encouraging achievement in our nation’s youth. Mentors across America are helping ensure young people reach their goals and goals they may never have thought they could achieve.

On minimum wage: Legislators correct to keep hands off

Guest Opinion

Oregon’s journey into brave new minimum-wage world is fraught with peril

Trevor’s Law: an honor to Idaho

Guest Opinion

Trevor Schaefer of Boise not only fought hard and survived after being diagnosed with brain cancer at the young age of 13, but also he has fought for the last seven years to get legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk that will help others through the documentation and tracking of childhood and adult cancer clusters in Idaho and around the nation.

Wildfire season becomes a misnomer

Guest Opinion

In the past, warm spring weather touched off the start of the worst wildfires. Now, unfortunately one fire season essentially runs into the next.

Ideas I battle for are based in truth

In Rebuttal

Well, it’s been five weeks since the election and based on the amount of press, and e-mail comments from the left, I must be winning. The ideas I battle for are based in the truth and they ring faithful to the blessing of our liberties and freedoms. That we are endowed with certain inalienable rights and governments are instituted among men to secure the blessings of these liberties, not abridge them.

Idaho knows how to manage lands for outdoor recreational activities

Guest Opinion

Outdoor recreational activities — hiking, mountain biking, hunting, skiing, fishing — are a way of life for many Idahoans. However, as the state population has increased, a decline in access to federally managed public lands has occurred, especially for recreational purposes. This is true throughout the West.

Enjoy festivals? Volunteers drive events; say thanks, step up, serve

Guest Opinion

Enjoy festivals? Volunteers drive events; say thanks, step up, serve Enjoy community events and festivals? You’ve got your pick, starting this weekend with White Bird Days and Rodeo, and the CVRA rodeo. Should be lots of fun. And volunteers are running the whole show at these events, by the way.

Senators work to improve forest management, wildfire budgeting

Guest Opinion

Late last month, U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash,, released draft legislation aimed at improving forest management and wildfire budgeting. The bipartisan discussion draft reflects the work of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to examine and find solutions for these issues over the past two congresses. The bill uses a cap adjustment to end the practice of fire borrowing similar to the bipartisan Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, which Wyden and Crapo first introduced in 2013.

Legislators: Reconsider your political pension payoff perk

When a government board member compares a special perk for state lawmakers to an “insider trading” scheme, something sketchy is going on. The pejorative assessment came during the biennial meeting of the citizens committee charged with determining legislators’ salaries and benefits.

Call for county payments extension

Guest Opinion

The federal government is responsible for the impact of federal land ownership on local communities, and it must meet this responsibility within its budget. A bipartisan group of 33 fellow senators, including Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), recently joined me in calling for the reauthorization of critical payments to rural counties that help ensure this responsibility is met.

Getting attached is not bad thing for foster parents; don’t fear it, embrace it

Guest Opinion

As a foster parent, I am surprised by how often I hear the objection “I could never do that, I would get too attached.” If you’ve thought this before, let me suggest that you might make the ideal foster parent. Seriously. Consider signing up, there are children who need your heart.

Honoring Idaho law enforcement officers

Guest Opinion

During National Police Week this month, our nation honors its law enforcement officers and remembers those who have given their lives protecting our communities. Coeur d’Alene Police Sergeant Gregory King Moore, a husband and father who served in the Coeur d’Alene Police Department for 16 years before he was killed last year in the line of duty, is among the law enforcement officers who are being honored this National Police Week.

Grocery tax a key issue in 2016 elections

Guest Opinion

Idaho’s policy is made more problematic by the fact that our grocery tax doesn’t actually result in support for state services and programs. Idaho merely collects the sales tax revenue and then refunds the money to Idahoans in the form of an income tax credit.

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