by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone
More than likely you have heard the radio commercials that are sponsored by the J.A. & Catherine Albertson Foundation that for some time have been telling us about all the deficiencies in education in the state of Idaho. It gets a little discouraging hearing all of those things about how “bad” education is here.
Last Friday the Teton High School girl’s basketball team came to town to participate in the tournament. Representative Marc Gibbs and I were able to spend some time with them touring the capital. We were able to get them into the governor’s office for a look around there and to take a few pictures. We also took them to the House floor and talked to them about how bills are passed in the legislature. What a great group of young ladies.
We told them about our page program that provides an opportunity for seniors in high school to come and help us during the legislative session. It is such a good opportunity for them and the pages learn a great deal during their time with us. Toward the end of our time with the team, their coach told me that the average grade point for these girls is 3.87. That is quite an accomplishment for those young ladies and it sounds like we are seeing successes and doing something right in our schools. I would hope that the Albertson Foundation could find the success stories that we have in Idaho instead of just looking for all the things that they seem to think are wrong with our schools.
For several years it has been my feeling that we needed to seriously consider creating a gaming agency that would regulate all of the gaming activities in the state. Particularly in light of what occurred last year with regard to historical racing. It could have been a vehicle that would have prevented much of the problem that occurred. I was able to get a bill introduced that would provide oversight of all the gaming activities that Idaho has including the lottery, pari-mutuel wagering, and tribal gaming. There have been several that have indicated that they would like to visit with me about the bill. Whether we like it or not, over the last few years Idaho has become a gaming state. That had its beginnings when the voters approved a change in the Constitution to allow for a lottery.
It was a good weekend for me at home. I was able to have some time with the family and to get out and take a look at the cattle and see how things are progressing there. Maybe more than anything else it was a chance to get out and breathe the fresh air. My son Bruce can hardly wait to start tilling the ground and start planting the crops. I had to remind him that it’s February and oh by the way the calving season has just barely begun. For some reason or other I don’t think we’ve seen the last of winter, even though at our elevation most of the snow disappeared this last week. Everything in its proper time and season.
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