This week at the Capitol

By Sen. Maryanne Jordan
Reader Contributor

Rep. Sue Chew is helping fight soaring drug prices by expanding who can donate unused medications and what organizations can receive them. On Monday, an Amendment to the Idaho Legend Drug Donation Act advanced through the Health & Welfare Committee and will receive a full hearing. This bill would allow anyone with unused, unopened medications to donate them to community health centers, free medical clinics, and designated regional behavioral health centers. Opioids are not allowed to be donated under this legislation. The legislation would help some of Idaho’s most vulnerable populations who would otherwise not have access to medication. 

Sen. Maryanne Jordan.

House Joint Memorial 3, sponsored by Representative John Gannon, passed unanimously through the House this week. The bipartisan bill calls on the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to address the increasingly prevalent issue of spam calls. In Rep. Gannon’s testimony to the floor he stressed that while these fraudulent calls are already illegal, local officials lack the resources to investigate them. The memorial asks the federal government to get involved in stopping the calls. These calls impede business and efficiency by wasting time and a prompting people to simply not answer their phones.

On Tuesday, the United Way of Southeastern Idaho was among 11 organizations across the country to receive a grant of $150,000 from Strive Together, a Cincinnati-based non-profit organization. The money will be used to advocate for and support pre-K schooling in Southeast Idaho. Sen. Mark Nye, during an interview with a Pocatello reporter, noted that legislators have been talking for years about funding pre-K, but never have followed through. He hopes grants like these will keep momentum going in the direction of early childhood learning and all the benefits it could bring to the state.

Representative Elaine Smith introduced the “hot dog” bill in committee on Thursday. The bill would allow first responders to break into a car to save a dog or cat they believe to be in danger. They would be protected from civil or criminal lawsuit when saving the animal. The legislation was given a bill number and will now get a full hearing in committee. 

Sen. Maryanne Jordan is the Idaho Senate Minority Leader.

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