Idaho Freedom Foundations Legislative Update

Lindsey RussellFreedom Index

Dear fellow freedom fighters,

As I travel back and forth from Boise to Idaho Falls, I am reminded of the beauty and great people that live in Eastern Idaho. I am thankful everyday to call Idaho Falls my home. As the sixth week of the legislative session comes to a close there are several things I would like to bring to your attention.

First, I’d like to update you in House Joint Resolution 1, sponsored by Rexburg Rep. Ron Nate. As I mentioned last week, Chairman Tom Loertscher still continues to refuse the resolution a hearing. Sadly, I wish I could tell this is an isolated case of the top-down approach with which the leadership handles issues, but I cannot.

By the way, did you happen to see Rep. Nate give a great lesson on the minimum wage on the House floor last week? If not, click here to listen to his great floor address. 

What I can tell you, though, is that I promise to continue to support HJR 1 and keep politics out of the way of our children’s learning opportunities until the final gavel drops.

Second, I applaud the House State Affairs Committee for killing Gov. Butch Otter’s five-year funding request for his new welfare program. In short, the proposal was an unfunded mandate that would have grown into an open-ended, D.C.-style entitlement.

Third, in a very confusing turn of events, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee blocked a bill to prevent food stamp fraud. This is the same committee that gave a full hearing to Obamcare’s Medicaid expansion. It’s just another example of leadership playing politics at the expense of Idahoans.

Lastly, Eastern Idaho has the good fortune of housing several key members of legislative leadership and I wish I could say they are the beacons of freedom, liberty and democracy at the state house. Sadly, that is not the case and I’ll give you a prime example where they have an issue very, very wrong.

Last year, Sen. Pro Tem Brent Hill from Rexburg helped quash a bill to end the Politician Pension Payoff, a perk legislators wrote themselves a while back and don’t have the courage to end now. After the House passed the bill in 2015, Hill tucked it away in a favored committee, where it died an unremarkable death.

This year, the bill likely won’t even get a hearing in the Capitol. This is incredibly bothersome. Protecting million-dollar pensions is more important than doing the right thing by closing the loophole. Sad.

There is some good news, though. A Senate panel will hear a bill this week to give local authorities more tools when fire ravages their wilderness areas. We are excited to support the plan, and our vice president is planning to testify at the hearing.

There are other victories forthcoming, but I’ll share more details next week.

By the way, I’m planning a mid-session update for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Perkins Restaurant on 2000 Channing Way here in Idaho Falls. Would you like to join me? I’ll even buy coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. 


Email me at if you’d like to come.

Again, thanks for all you do for us and liberty in general. We’ll keep pushing and pushing and pushing.


Lindsay Russell Dexter

Senior Policy Director

Eastern Idaho Field Officer


P.S. If you like the work IFF does on a daily basis, please donate to the cause by clicking here. Even $5 helps fight back Boise’s Big Government ways. 

Eastern Idaho mid-session update: you’re invited! 

When: Saturday, Feb 27 at 10 a.m. 

Where: Perkins, 2000 Channing Way, Idaho Falls

Who: You, interested friends and me, IFF’s senior policy director


I’ll spring for coffee, hot chocolate and pastries. RSVP by emailing me at 


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