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Idaho Gov. Little, veto bad legislation that harms Idaho’s public libraries

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Library bill

I am a senior at Boise High School, and I am extremely concerned about our public libraries here in Idaho after the legislature passed House Bill 710. Libraries have been a crucial part of my life, providing a safe space to dream and learn. My whole life I have been able to choose for myself what I can read, with the guidance of my parents and librarians.

The practicality of carrying this bill out and the potential damages to libraries concerns me. The bill mandates adult-only sections, which is extremely impractical for smaller libraries, and is extremely costly needing renovations and extra staff. It is also redundant.

This is also a bounty bill. 250 dollars is a lot less than last year’s version, unspecified damages and attorney fees could cause the cost to be much higher, which is extremely difficult for our already underfunded libraries. We are losing our nurses and teachers because of policies that are being passed in the legislature. We cannot afford to lose our librarians as well. I am calling on Governor Little to veto House Bill 710 and protect our libraries and freedom to read.

Emilia J Anders, Boise

Books

Which is more harmful to young children, reading a library book or not having enough to eat? I’d wager that the average person would think it’s not having enough to eat. But Reps. Jaron Crane and Brent Crane and a bevy of other extremist legislators believe it’s reading library books. The legislature again refused to accept 16 million of our federal tax dollars to feed children during the summer when they are not in school getting affordable or free lunches. But legislators are determined to pass a bill to keep kids safe from those dangerous library books.

Clearly they are irony-challenged.

Mary Mosley, Meridian

Vote

Come November, you are going to have a choice of who you want to represent you. Do you want to continue with hardline extremists? Who’s threatening to put librarians in prison, who wants to take away voting rights by restricting absentee ballots. Who wants to take public education dollars away to support private school vouchers. Who wants to make it harder to get ballot initiatives on ballot. Who wants to make bullying LGBTQ+ people OK and making severely poor decisions on women’s reproductive rights.

Come November all districts in Idaho will have another party to vote for. Who will stand up to support Libraries/Librarians/and all books, who will expand your voting rights, who will expand public education from pre-kindergarten through higher level school, who will put in place protection for all LGBTQ+, who will promote healthcare for all, and who will leave it to women to make their own decision on who controls their bodies. Come November you will have more choice to choose from, it’s time to turn Idaho Statehouse blue.

Don Benson, Nampa

ITD building

More ITD building info: The State of Idaho bought the Chinden Campus complete with 8 buildings and surrounding 197 acres in 2017 for the express purpose of housing Idaho State agencies at that location.

The bulk of the employees at the State St. ITD building moved to the Chinden campus in the spring of 2022 after considerable remodeling expense. What remains at the State St. location is the materials labs which will occupy the new building under construction on Chinden campus.

The old ITD building is full of mold, asbestos, lead paint, and outdated plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling and in most opinions should be considered as a knock down with little value.

Steve Gant, Boise

Legislature

This has been a difficult legislative session to watch. Library bills, school vouchers, taking away citizen initiatives, changing wording for fetus, codifying cannibalism, guns in school, unnecessary voting restrictions, stripping communities of their ability to regulate affordable housing, attacks on transgender children, abortion bans, trying to strip Medicaid expansion and these are just a few of the bills that were introduced this session.

But the icing on the cake was when, once again, they denied vulnerable young children food security during the summer months. This would cost $120 per child. The state would pay an administrative cost of about $545,000 and the federal government government about $16 million. Republican legislators reason for voting this down? Socialism, dependency, no work requirements, rich kids would have access, kids running wild with food cards. All made up excuses for denying children food access to promote misguided ideology. This is the same group of people who turned down 30 million dollars for early childhood education because they were worried about grooming three year olds.

Idaho deserves better. We need legislators that help make our lives better and work to help the people of Idaho. Consider this when you vote in 2024.

Linda Beebe, Boise

Durst

Hello Ada county friends. Just a quick note from Bonner County asking you to avoid voting for Branden Durst as Ada county commissioner. Many of you may remember the train wreck he was in the legislature, but he also was recently ousted as Superintendent of the West Bonner County School District. His most notable achievement was trying to stage a coup with recalled school board trustees trying to act after the vote but before certification. He is also against free lunch, unless it is for him. Ada deserves better and can do better. Take care!

David Day, Sandpoint

Vouchers

From some of our Idaho representatives, Oh, how do I love thee? (Voucher bills.) Let me count the Ways and Means. Keep changing committees, bill numbers, committee members and extending end of legislative session until we pass taking money from public education to give to private, religious or home schooling. Pay ourselves overtime until we get what we want. No matter how many sneaky ways and means it takes!

Sheila M Robbins, Boise

Pronouns

To my Idaho legislators: First to clarify. I am Idaho born and raised. Do you have nothing more to worry about than pronouns? I’m sure there are more important issues to your fellow Idahoans. That is it. Sweet and simple.

Shaneen Hahn, Star



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