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"All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope."
-- Winston Churchill

Tax Relief

The House of Representatives passed a tax relief bill almost exactly like I predicted they would in last week’s newsletter. This gives Idahoans about $200,000,000 in tax relief compared to a year ago. Now the bill comes to the Senate for additional consideration. There are all kinds of thoughts on what to do. Most revolve around whether there is too much benefit for business, or not enough for the average taxpayer. There will be a move to add the grocery tax to this bill, adding maybe another $80 million it tax relief. The governor will veto this idea, so who knows!
Stay tuned!

Pictured is Tucker Shaw and myself visiting while others enjoyed the prime rib lunch served in the Capitol by the Idaho Cattle Association. Tucker is current president of the association. He is a very capable leader, and I would say the Idaho Cattle Association will thrive under the leadership he will provide.
As a side note, some of you will remember his grandad Tom as a past president of ICA. His uncle, Tim, is past chairman of the Idaho Beef Council and his dad, Greg, is a past president of the American Hereford Association. Leadership runs in Tucker’s veins!

Suicide: Phase 2

I promise this is the last time (for a while) I will talk about suicide prevention! But, this is becoming a bigger deal to our district and our state every day. Just a couple of weeks ago, two young people in Moscow took their lives.
This week, I met with administrators of health and welfare, representatives of the Governor’s Suicide Council and representatives of two private foundations working on suicide prevention in Idaho.
What I know for sure:

  • There is no coordinated effort for suicide prevention in Idaho.
  • Most can’t even agree on who is in charge. When an effort has no agreement on leadership, I have found participants often work hard, but often duplicate effort. Results are obscure.
  • There is no agreement on measurable outcomes for suicide prevention activities in Idaho.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I really believe that. So, until I see what success will look like if we find it, how can we spend time and your money on it?
An article in the Idaho County Free Press on suicide prevention, inferred that more money was going to be allocated by JFAC for this effort.  Not so fast! I sit on this finance committee. I have never found throwing money at a poor organizational structure will solve problems.
Get the business plan first, without money. Then when the money comes, the organization will be able to use it wisely. Give the money first, little fiefdoms are developed to keep the money from somebody else and hoard it for their own. The original objective is lost.
Lots more to learn!

I always enjoy hearing from you.  If you have specific interest on bills, please let me know and I will run them down for you. Send me an email to

All the best,
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