It is an honor to be your State Senator from District 4, Coeur d’Alene

 

I look forward to representing your ideas and concerns in Boise during the legislative session in January, February and March, and here at home throughout the rest of the year.

Communication is very important, especially when our government is making decisions that will impact us long term, so I will be communicating with you as much as possible.

You can’t easily witness the process of our state government in person because of the 400 miles between Coeur d’Alene and the Capitol, so I have a Senate Journal on this web site to share short thoughts, experiences and content with you during the legislative session.

Please check out my Senate Journal during the session and you can sign up on this web site for my free newsletter, which I’ll be writing the rest of the year. In addition to this web site, the newsletter and Senate Journal, you can find me on Facebook at Mary Souza for Idaho, and on Twitter at @MarySouzaIdaho. Please email your thoughts or questions to marysouzacda@gmail.com

It is GO TIME for the 2018 Republican Primary Election on May 15th

I would appreciate your support—Please get out and VOTE!

The 2018 Legislative Session ended March 28th, here are a few of my votes:

  • Voted in favor of our Mental Health Crisis Center and its funding
  • Voted each of the past 4 years to increase Teacher Career Ladder pay
  • Voted to expand funding for Career Technical Education
  • Voted for $100 million dollars in business and personal income tax cuts
  • Voted in favor of increased Child tax credits for families
  • I supported allowing CBD oil in Idaho, but the bill did not get a hearing in the Senate. It will be considered again next year.
  • In 2017, I voted for removing sales tax from groceries but it was vetoed by the Governor, but will also be considered again next year.

In the Senate, we each carry many committee and agency bills to present on the floor, for the full Senate, where only members are allowed to speak. But many of us also have special bills that we work all the way through the system. Here are three of mine from this session:

1. Public Records Request updates: (S1274) was generated because the Press couldn’t get access to school district severance packages, even though public employee compensation is a public record. We updated the law and it passed through both House and Senate was signed into law by the Governor. 

2. School Board Election Date Change: (S1280) This third-year effort to improve the terribly low voter turnout in these important elections was a compromise brought by the Idaho School Board Association (ISBA). At their annual conference, a resolution to change their election from May of odd numbered years to November of the same years, on the city election ballot, was approved by 71% of their conference attendees. Senator Jim Rice and I, the sponsors of the bill, agreed to the compromise and the bill has passed through both House and Senate and was signed into law by the Governor. 

3. Foster Care Improvement Act: (S1341) is the most important bill we considered this year, in my opinion. It is the product of two years of the Foster Care Interim Committee, as well as our smaller working group which met many times during this session to craft this bill. We worked with the Judiciary, Public Health Districts, the Department of Health and Welfare, outside non-profit groups and funding analysts. The bill passed unanimously through the Senate and House and was signed into law by the Governor. I’m proud to have been part of this process.