Wednesday, February 6, 2019

We, the people....

In December of 2017 Hope Coalition decided to help gather signatures to put expanding Medicaid on the ballot.  In November 2018 the voters approved this initiative by 61% and now it is up to the state legislature to fund it and implement it.   Reclaim Idaho arranged for a rally and meetings with our legislators in Boise on Feb. 4th.  There were seven of us from Hope who decided to make the trek to Boise.

 We arrived Sunday evening and after checking in at our motel we set off walking to find a restaurant for dinner.  We had thought we would eat at Asiagos but it was closed.  Since none of us were really that familiar with the downtown Boise area, we spent quite a bit of time wandering around trying to find somewhere else to eat.  We ended up at Bardenays on the Basque block in downtown Boise. 
 The Super Bowl was in the final quarter and not very exciting to watch, but the food was really good.

The next morning we walked to the capitol building.  It was only about six blocks from our motel.

The plan was to find out if the Senate was in session and/or attend a committee meeting until our rally which was at noon.  When we arrived we happened to run into Sen. Woodward just in time to find out that the JFAC meeting would resume in ten minutes.   We listened in on the budget hearing for Mental Health Services.   Prop 2 will be saving that portion of the budget 4.2 million dollars.  One more reason to fund it without restrictions.

The Idaho Senate was in session next so we watched that until it was time for our rally for Prop 2.

The rally was on the front steps of the capitol building.

Kally, Vera and Linda made these great signs.

Everyone at the rally was very enthusiastic despite of the cold temperature and the wind.

Linda, Michele Marcy and Kally

with Luke Mayville
 We are Legislative District 1!

The photo below is one of my favorites.  The last speaker was Emily Strizich holding her sweet daughter.  Emily and her husband, Garrett, were the initial supporters of the Prop 2 effort along with Luke Mayville.  They have driven the Medicaid Bus up and down the length of Idaho several times to support the initiative. 

The most popular ride in Idaho

After the rally we decided to attend the Senate Education Committee meeting.  Senator Woodward, who is a member of the education committee, introduced us.  It was something we had not expected and it was very nice to be acknowledged.

 One of our members, Marcy, lives in Boise.  She was our chauffeur and tour guide while we were there.  Marcy was very familiar with all things political and the ins and outs of the legislature.   She drove us everywhere and recommended all the best places to eat.   It made our experience so fun!  We had lunch at Mai Thai and dinner at the Fort Street Station.

The second day we decided we wanted to see the House of Representatives in session and watched them debate and vote on several bills.

We had lunch with Senator Woodward at a very nice restaurant called Richards. After lunch we did a little shopping and then walked back to the capitol where we toured the governor's office.   As we walked out we met Governor Little and the chance to talk to him for a few minutes.

 I think this chair would work for me...

We decided we needed a photo under this sign for the fans of West Wing.

 Breaking news:  Tuesday evening that the Idaho Supreme Court ruled in favor of Prop 2.  The Idaho Freedom Foundation lost their lawsuit.   We couldn't be happier.
Michele, Judy, Susan, Connie, Linda

Our return flight was good and our driver, Linda, got us all home safely.  There is a lot more snow here than when we left and it's really cold!

We had an action-packed trip.  I'm not sure how we could have added anything more to our schedule.   I had a fabulous time!

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