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Lone North Idaho Democratic Legislator Warns of GOP Push for Public Lands Takeover

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Rep. Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer) - JEREMY LANNINGHAM
  • Jeremy Lanningham
  • Rep. Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer)
The only Idaho Democratic legislator north of McCall sounded what she called "a high alert" Wednesday, saying "we may need to hold a rally in Boise" to block what she said could be a direct effort by Republicans to push for a state takeover of public lands.

Writing for the Lewiston Tribune, William Spence reports Rep. Paulette Jordan (D-Plummer) shared her concerns Wednesday at a meeting of the League of Women Voters in Moscow.

"Once that land is gone, it's out of our hands for good," Jordan told the gathering. "It needs to stay in public hands."

The Tribune reports Jordan also predicted a push by the GOP for more tax cuts during the upcoming legislative session. Jordan said most Idahoans would "love to see us cut taxes, but if we do that, we can't pay our bills," adding that while there were nearly $2 billion in tax exemptions, there was not adequate funding for public education.

Jordan was joined at the Moscow event by a colleague from across the aisle, Rep. Caroline Troy (R-Genesee), who also represents the 5th Legislative District in north-central Idaho. The Tribune reports Troy told the gathering she expected "little action" to address the so-called "Medicaid Gap" in Idaho—a situation in which tens of thousands of Idahoans earn too little to apply for subsidized insurance on the state-run health insurance exchange but too much to qualify for Medicaid-funded services.

"I'm afraid the most we can hope for is to shift some [state] money from the Millennium Fund to beef up primary care through the community health network," said Troy.

The 2017 session of the Idaho Legislature gavels into session on Monday, Jan. 9.
KELSEY HAWES
  • Kelsey Hawes

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