Saturday, November 27, 2021

Play

Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

Play

Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

'Ugly' Session Adds Momentum to Group Behind ID Medicaid Expansion

Play

Friday, May 10, 2019   

BOISE, Idaho – Attempts to curtail voter initiatives in the Idaho Legislature this year are invigorating the group behind Medicaid expansion.

Reclaim Idaho's massive mobilization to expand the federal health program garnered 61% approval in November, but lawmakers ended up watering down the ballot initiative by passing work requirements, potentially leaving thousands without coverage.

They also passed a bill making it much harder to put initiatives on the ballot. Rebecca Schroeder, executive director of Reclaim Idaho, calls it an "ugly" session.

"What was kind of a silver lining of this session is that as we fought those battles to protect Medicaid, and as we stood up and fought for our rights to organize initiatives, our supporters grew by almost five-fold, which was just incredible," says Schroeder.

Schroeder says Reclaim Idaho delivered nearly 12,000 signatures to Gov. Brad Little, urging him to veto the initiative bill, which ultimately worked.

Backers of the bill said the tougher requirements were needed to make sure rural areas wanted these initiatives.

In support of Medicaid work requirements, Little says they will encourage self-sufficiency. This measure still needs federal government approval to be implemented.

Reclaim Idaho plans to field candidates from both parties to challenge Republicans who supported the initiative bill and Medicaid work requirements. To ramp up for next year's election, the group is holding a series of summer town halls across the state on these topics.

Schroeder says they're calling it the "accountability campaign."

"In each one of these areas that we organize one of these town halls, we intend to mobilize huge teams of canvassers to get out into the communities and ensure that this isn't going away," says Schroeder. “I understand that one of the biggest risks that we run is letting all that energy fizzle away."

Schroeder notes that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they saw unprecedented public input this legislative session. She adds that her group is considering introducing a 2020 ballot initiative at the end of the summer, but keeping the details under wraps until then.


get more stories like this via email

Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)

Environment

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…


Environment

HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …

Environment

RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …


Old electronics can be sold, donated or recycled instead of thrown out to reduce waste. (Mihail/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BOSTON -- This holiday season, consumer advocates are urging Commonwealth residents to consider giving gifts that don't require purchasing anything…

Social Issues

AUSTIN, Texas -- Supply chain delays have some holiday shoppers stressed that gifts won't be on store shelves on this "Black Friday," or won't arrive …

The Michigan Energy Assistance program can help with paying utility bills and weatherization tips to keep the heat in your home. (weyo/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…

Social Issues

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A new report ranks Maryland as one of the worst states in providing support for young victims of sex trafficking. While Maryland …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021