February 17, 2019: Sponsoring a Bill on the Senate Floor!
Idaho HB-12 is legislation that allows for easier dispensing of Naloxone. On Thursday, Governor Brad Little signed HB 12 into law.
Naloxone is a drug that can be administered quickly to an individual who has overdosed on opioids. The treatment is so effective that it can sometimes revive a person within minutes after it has been administered.
HB-12 was the first piece of legislation that I have sponsored in the Senate. Because it makes Naloxone more readily available to abusers, it is a key step in dealing with the opioid crisis. For example, the legislation would allow a nurse to provide Naloxone to participants in a training program.
Naloxone can keep people alive, but we also need to focus on providing treatment. Establishing our regional crisis centers and behavioral health treatment programs, as provided by Medicaid Expansion, are important steps. We need to be able to offer treatment options to help people who are addicted to opioids so they can go back to work, repair their relationships with friends and family, improve their quality of life, and feel at home in their communities.
Here is a nice summary of the bill and some video from KLEW.
The surprise redistricting bill that was rammed through committee earier this month has died at least a temporary death. After the public outcry on this attempt to gerrymander Idaho’s legislative districts, the house voted to send the bill back to committee. Usually that kills a bill for the year, but keep your eye on this one. It is likely to come back, either this year or next.
Cell Phones and Distracted Driving
You might be surprised to learn that it is legal in Idaho to use your cell phone while driving. You can dial numbers, send emails, play games! Senate Bill 1064 will make most of those activities’ infractions. It will still be legal to talk on your phone and use voice commands, but once passed, this legislation will make touching the keyboard by more than one keystroke a no-no. We heard this bill in the Senate Transportation Committee this week and it passed with 6 yes and two no votes. I will be supporting this bill on the floor because it can significantly reduce traffic accidents. One startling statistic we heard in committee is that the risk of a distracted driving accident while using your phone is even higher than the risk of drinking and driving!
Campaign Finance Reform
After an interim committee studied the issue and submitted a unanimous report that changes are needed, a pair of campaign finance reform bills were introduced in the Senate this week. I support these changes which will require more frequent reporting to an online database and less discretion on enforcement of violations of the code. A lot of money is involved here. We need as much transparency as possible about who is funding our elections and our candidates.
District 5 – Upcoming Discussion Sessions
I am taking a little time off this weekend and will be doing Pizza and Politics sessions in Bonner, Boundary, and Shoshone counties the weekend of February 23rd. I have enjoyed the visits I have been hosting in rural communities and will continue those in March. Here is the current schedule:
March 2nd. I will be at the Invent Idaho State Finals on the UI campus at noon.
March 9 and 23. Moscow Chamber of Commerce will host Representatives Troy, Goesling, and myself for a coffee and discussion session, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Chamber office, 411 S. Main Street.
March 9th. Legislative updates with Representatives Troy and Goesling in Plummer and St Maries. Times and places to be determined
March 23rd. Town Hall in Deary with Representatives Troy and Goesling at 1:00 pm at the Community Center