Saturday, July 20, 2019
Idaho Lieutenant Governor Chides Strife in Her Party
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Julie Lynn and Erin Rheinschild lead attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin took the reins as Idaho’s first lieutenant governor during the just-ended legislature session.

And, she says, some legislators seemed to have difficulty remembering she’s a woman.

“Sometimes they referred to me as ‘Mr. President,’ instead of ‘Madam President,’ ” she said. “C’mon, guys. I realize Idaho’s gone 147 years without a guy but….”

 
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Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin served in the Idaho House before she was elected to her current post.
 

McGeachin, who has a second home in Sun Valley, spoke to about two dozen men and women this past week at the Blaine County Republican Women’s General Meeting held at the Golden Eagle Clubhouse.

She urged listeners to beware of liberal interests from out of state targeting Idaho voters on issues like medical marijuana. And she said she is concerned about the growth of the state budget.

That 9 percent increase is much higher than state economy and that’s just a maintenance budget, she said.

It’s caused in large part, she said because so many people are moving into the state

 
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Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin studies a summary of the budget as she responds to a question.
 

“I noticed even driving here it’s hard to drink coffee in the car because there’s so many potholes in the highway,” she said.

McGeachin noted there had been “a significant increase” in public school funding—part of a five-year plan to build educational levels beyond what they were before there was a holdback.

“So, don’t let anybody tell you we don’t spend money on education,” she said.

She also touted the value of vocational training and apprenticeships.

“We need to allow students to supplant some requirements for graduation with real life experiences. Why not free some kids in high school to get experience on dairy farms?” she asked. “These jobs pay $20 an hour. They’re what some people call a ‘dirty job,’ but I get down on my knees to scrub floors in my family’s restaurant all the time. If they decide they love their work and want to stay, these individuals will most likely be the ones to open their own businesses.”

McGeachin noted that Dist. 26 Sen. Michelle Stennett was “doing her job protecting her community” with a bill that would ban exploding targets on state lands during wildfire season. An exploding target started the 2018 Sharps Fire near Bellevue, which burned 64,000 acres and put homes near Hailey and Carey in jeopardy.

The bill easily passed the Senate but died in the House on a 33-35-2 vote. Rep Heather Scott, R-Blanchard called it “an attack on gun enthusiasts.” Rep Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, said he feared the ban would set citizens up for more harassment from the BLM and Forest Service.

Still another legislator—Rep. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton--said she and her family shot at milk jugs filled with water and wondered whether they would classify as exploding targets.

 

“I’d encourage (Stennett) to look at strengthening existing laws already in place,” said McGeachin. “Sometimes legislators are concerned about adding more regulations instead of making sure what’s already out there is enforced.”

McGeachin said she was concerned over the high level of contention between the Senate the House during the past legislative session.

“Many said it was the most contentious session they’ve ever seen. Bills went back and forth… they were held up in committee. I’m not sure why it happened. But moving into the future we have to be united as conservatives, as Republicans,” she said.

McGeachin lightheartedly addressed the controversy that swirled around herself when she posted on Facebook a photo of herself standing with two men in orange prison outfits who were flashing hand signs associated with an anti-government group. The men were reportedly showing support for Todd Engle, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in a 2014 standoff near the Nevada ranch of anti-government activist Cliven Bundy.

“I’ve been labeled all kinds of things according to who or what I’m standing next to on any given day!”  she said.

McGeachin added that she often poses for photographs with those who visit her office.

“These men were bringing public awareness to a man in prison, and their hand signals were misinterpreted as something they were not,” she said.

REPUBLICANS LOOK AHEAD”

A new Camas County Republican Women group launched on May 3.

The Blaine County Republicans will hold their annual BBQ and Picnic on Aug. 17.

 

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