Idaho continues to miss the mark when it comes to making the state a better place for children.
Sure, Idaho lawmakers tell us their top priority is protecting children. We hear it every time they introduce a bill limiting women’s access to constitutionally protected reproductive healthcare.
But that’s just rhetoric. In reality, children aren’t that important to Idaho politicians.
In Idaho, it is legal for parents to withhold life-saving medicine from children as along as they claim it was done for religious reasons. You should probably read that sentence again. Fun fact: Lawmakers could have fixed this. They didn’t. Sorry kids, no medicine for you.
Pooh-pooh for Preschool
Public preschool offers children a head start toward a scholastic career. It also provides some much-needed relief for parents struggling to afford daycare. And if you’re looking for it in Idaho, you’re out of luck. Fun fact: Last year, Idaho spent $800,000 defending unconstitutional laws and $0 on pre-K.
Remember 2009? Idaho lawmakers do. They liked it so much their goal is to fund Idaho schools like it was 2009 — even though inflation and increased enrollment will actually reduce per-student funding below 2009 levels. Deal with it kids. Fun fact: Idaho spends less per-pupil than any other state except Utah.
Breastfeeding establishes a strong connection between mother and child while providing the most complete form of nutrition for infants. To Idaho lawmakers, it’s yucky. Forty-nine states, plus D.C., plus Puerto Rico have protections for breastfeeding mothers. Only Idaho doesn’t. Fun fact: Breastfeeding gets you out of jury duty in the Gem State.
If Idaho lawmakers believe children are their top priority, they have a strange way of showing it. One thing is for sure. There is a lot of work to do. We should start by requiring parents to provide their children with life-saving medications.
Seems like a reasonable first step.
Fun fact: For some reason, Idaho lawmakers don’t think it’s a reasonable first step.