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"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
--- Benjamin Franklin

University Fires 24 Executives in Cost Cutting Measure

Now, if you saw that headline…would you read on? I would, too!! But instead, our universities chose to use headlines that discussed spending $300,000 in salaries to hire a “coordinator”. Or, as some said, a “University Czar”.
The truth is that both headlines are technically correct! The proposal is to hire a CEO of the university system, to manage and direct tasks that are currently duplicated by all four university presidents and their staffs. The cost cutting is planned to increase efficiencies by eliminating these duplications, and by eliminating approximately six highly paid executives in each of the four universities.
 This move was recommended to the Governor by business executives from around the state. They think this needs to be done to lower the education costs to the students and the public paying for it.
Of course, that’s always a good idea!
However, this idea has not been analyzed, and doesn’t have enough flesh on the bones for me to support.
IF this is a good idea, it has been so poorly communicated to the people in our state, it is dead. I have had no one call me to say it is a good idea. I have had plenty of calls recommending where this idea could go!
This whole deal is a good example of importance of effective communication, and the problems that occur when there’s a total lack of communication.

Hunter Gust and Zayne Hunter, representing Wallace High School, visited the Capitol as part of the Career Technical Awareness effort. These guys made a super impression on your Senator! They came across engaged, interested, and interesting, as well as bright, articulate young men.

I think Wallace can be proud they sent these guys to Boise.  Hunter Gust is the Technical Student Association President.  Zane Hunter is the Sergeant at Arms for the same organization, and Student Body President at Wallace High School. 

Senator Noinini and I went to lunch with them at the iconic Moon’s Restaurant, and really enjoyed our visit!

Tax Relief: Just Around the Corner

I will predict the Idaho Legislature will pass the largest tax relief measure in the history of the state.
Don’t be fooled!
The first $100,000,000 will be primarily related to Idaho’s conformity with the tax reform passed in Washington, D.C. So, anything over that number will be real Idaho Tax Relief from your legislature!
The Governor is supporting a bill that will be in the House of Representatives this week that includes about $200,000,000 in tax cuts. There are proposals out there for bills totaling over $260,000,000 in cuts.
I have lots of numbers for these alternatives, if you are interested. These are important times for Idahoans to be engaged in what the future of their state will look like. Taxes matter, and so does our understanding of their consequences!

Suicide in Idaho and District 7

Idaho is the 4th highest state in the union for suicides per capita. Our district is the highest in the state. What’s wrong?
What should we do? More of the same? Change tactics?
I don’t know the answers to all those questions, but I am trying to run down some ideas. First, we have thrown some money at it from the state. About $1 million for the last year and a half. No measurable results. I asked for a visit with the department head, and the person in charge of the suicide prevention program. They were very accommodating, but I am very impatient, so I wasn’t satisfied!
I have found that they have four full time employees but contract out all their work. That doesn’t make sense to me, needing four people to hire others to do the work?  I am sure there is more to the story; I’ll be finding out.
I know some of you don’t think government should be in this business but if they are, they must be effective. We simply can’t allow our neighbors to commit suicide, while we say solving it will “take a lot of time.”  The time is now!  More to come.

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 ccrabtree@senate.idaho.gov

All the best,
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