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My first steps to learning more about Idaho politics

January 10, 2018

I got a tour of the Capitol building and I watched the Governor’s State of the State Address on Monday. It was my first step towards having a better understanding of Idaho’s government, and the role it plays in my children’s education. Here’s what I learned:

The Capitol Building is a great place to get a refresher course on how our state government works.  The bottom floor is full of information —  an important reminder for any citizen. The Capitol is also breathtakingly beautiful. The marble floors and columns would make any Idahoan proud. If your elementary student is going on a field trip to the capitol building this year, go with them!

This is a really important year for Idaho and it’s elected government officials. The governor, lieutenant governor and all 105 legislators are all up for election. I noticed that among our elected officials, who filled the House of Representatives chamber to hear Gov. Butch Otter’s last State of the State Address, were predominantly elderly, white, Republican males. Where are all of the racially diverse, female and younger politicians? I hope to see them running for office this year. Find out who represents you in the Idaho Legislature by entering your address here.

Gov. Otter gave a rousing (albeit long) speech about his budget and goals for Idaho in 2018. He talked about his love for the state and his desire for it to continue to prosper. It sounded great… I’ll be interested to see how many of his proposals make it to fruition. I plan on following:

  • His proposal for a ‘chief education officer.’ I would like to see if a new position in the government can help Idaho achieve the goal of 60 percent of Idahoans earning a post-secondary degree. What can a CEO do that will encourage my kids to graduate from college?
  • He budgeted $10 million dollars for students to have more technology in the classroom. Will my kids notice more technology in their classrooms? Where, specifically, will the money go?

Did you listen to the State of the State Address? What stood out to you? What policies and changes in government are you most interested in?

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