We are in our second week of the Idaho legislative session and the majority of our time has been spent reviewing proposed executive rules and regulations.
I started to notice a trend several years ago which is more apparent this year. Many of the ideas and agendas prevalent in Idaho law making policies do not appear to come from average citizens nor have North Idaho interests in mind. Instead of developing and creating unique laws that help Idaho citizens, many Idaho bureaucrats and lawmakers regularly insert federal code language (rules, regulations and fees) directly into Idaho law, effectively transforming our state and local agencies into the enforcement arm of the federal government. Here are a few examples of ways the legislature has implemented federal code in our state.
• In our taxpayer-funded, government-run schools and colleges, we have accepted Common Core, an international agenda that replaces individual academic exceptionalism and local control with a one- size-fits-all for the students. Teachers are forced or coerced into implementing ill-conceived gender policies, which confuse children to the point where they are unsure if they are a male or female. Add this to the individual data collection on kids, and we have a recipe for disaster.
• Our health care system has become a quagmire of federal red tape and layers of bureaucracy while medical costs continue to rise with no end in sight and doctor availability gets more difficult.
• Idaho implemented the federal Real ID driverís license program with little regard to privacy concerns.
• Idaho allows the federal government to neglect and mismanage forests within our state boundaries which undermines rural tax bases. In addition, we have adopted the United Nationsí climate change and sustainability agendas with little or no regard to its impacts on working families, utilization of our natural and renewable resources, water rights or our Constitutionally protected rights to hunt and fish.
This may seem disheartening, but it is the reality. Over time, the states (and ultimately the citizens) have allowed the ever-creeping national government to operate outside of its clearly defined jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions are delineated in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. The states were never intended to be centers for federal policy, nor mere subjects of the federal government. The division of power between state governments and the national government of the United States was originally set up to de-centralize and dilute national governing power to stave off a tyrannical government. Unfortunately, the original balance of power between the governments of the states and the national government has now shifted. Today we have a form of government that is moving away from the Founding Fathersí design. The states have steadily ceded their sovereignty and jurisdiction to a national, and increasingly centralized, U.S. government. This is precisely what the Founding Fathers feared.
These are the types of issues I address almost daily while in session and feel compelled to share and educate you, the citizens, on. I continue to believe that all power is in the people and if we exercise that power, we can regain control of our state government. There is so much more to address on this topic, including how it is occurring and what we can do to reverse the trend, but it will have to wait for my next submittal. Please consider signing up for my digital legislative newsletters online or send me an email to HScott@House.Idaho.gov asking to be put on my list.
Rep. Heather Scott represents Bonner and Boundary counties in the Idaho Legislature in District 1A. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.