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  • Writer's pictureToni Ferro

The legislature is not prioritizing the real needs of Idahoans

Updated: Feb 24

The reason that I knock on doors and talk to voters in my district is because I want to make sure I'm representing the priorities of the people in my district. I've knocked on over 5000 doors so far.

Most legislators don't seek out their constituents. Instead, they hear from the same small group of people over and over. Eventually, these legislators become convinced that the issues and concerns they hear from this small group of people is representative of everyone in their district. They lose touch with their average constituent, who has plenty of concerns, opinions, and ideas that would help the legislator do a better job.

The graphic above illustrates that there is a big divide between the concerns of Idahoans and the work the legislature is doing. When I talk to someone at their door I very rarely hear people spouting party talking points on divisive issues. Instead people have real problems: the roads near their house are dangerous and they can't get out of their neighborhood in the morning because of the traffic, their kid goes to school in a temporary building that doesn't have a bathroom, their rent has doubled in the last few years, their irrigation is shut off too early in the season, their property taxes have gone up so much that they have to move, and more.

Our legislators aren't listening to most of the people in their districts and that shows in the issues they prioritize in the legislature. They aren't hearing the concerns of most people, they are insulated in a relatively small bubble, and so prioritize the concerns of their personal friends, family, lobbyists, and other associates.

It doesn't have to be this way. Let's vote out these legislators and replace them with people who will work hard to listen to the concerns of as many people as they can and then deliver much needed solutions.


Note: The items I list as "The legislature's priorities" are real bills that have been proposed in the legislature recently. Some of them I write about on my 2023 Bills and 2024 Bills pages on my website. Links to all of the bills I refer to are here:

Public Money for Private Schools - 2023 - SJR-102, SB-1038, SB-1144, SB-1161, SB-1076, HB-347; 2024 - HB-447, HJR-001

Limiting Vote by Mail - 2023 - HB-205, HB-259; 2024 - HB-573

Legalizing Private Militias - 2023 - SB1056; 2024 - SB-1240

Repealing the Medicaid Expansion - 2023 - HB-123; 2024 - HB-419

Restricting Ballot Initiatives - 2023 - SJR-101

Suing Libraries - 2023 - HB-139, HB - 314; 2024 - HB-384, SB-1221, SB-1289

Repealing Child Labor Laws - 2024 - SB-1300


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