Thoughts on our republic, your voice

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Heather Scott

Article Four of the U.S. Constitution has been the driving force behind why our country has survived and thrived for the last 240-plus years.

Article Four guarantees that Idaho, and all other states, will operate under a republic form of government. This representative style of government in Idaho establishes the making of policy and law through the body of the Idaho Legislature which is made up of the House and Senate.

Promulgation of proposed new laws or changes and removal of existing laws is the primary purpose of the legislative session. This process grants to the people’s representatives, the ability to bring ideas forward to debate, vet on facts, and vote on, based on a bill’s merits.

Today’s biggest travesty of government in Idaho is when a bill proposed by a representative of the people is not printed nor heard and never discussed in the Legislature. The effect of this politically motivated chokehold on the governed, truly compromises and diminishes the relationship of Idaho citizens to their state government. It is ultimately taxation without representation in its most blatant form.

We know this was the primary motivation for the Declaration of Independence and the catalyst for the American Revolution. The principle foundation of no taxation without representation in Western law dates back to the 1215 Magna Carta. Going forward, history is full of examples of ticked off “governed” who held the “governing” accountable when they chose to abuse this vital principle.

In Idaho government, the denial of a committee hearing by a committee chairman on proposed legislative ideas, disenfranchises a representative’s constituents as well as any other qualified electors in the state who believes in the idea. Our republic is specifically designed to not allow power to be concentrated in one individual.

My suggestion to all committee chairmen in the Idaho Legislature is to grant a print hearing for all proposed ideas and to allow hearings on all proposed legislation, thus fulfilling the principle of our U.S. and Idaho constitutions. This maintains their allegiance to their oath, which each swore to uphold as a legislator in our republic form of government.

When committee chairmen promote debating of ideas, and bills are ultimately decided on by their merits, Idaho citizens will have quality legislation reflecting the majority of citizen’s ideas and beliefs.

I always welcome your questions and ideas. Please consider signing up for my digital legislative updates to follow what is happening in the Idaho Legislature — legislature.idaho.gov/house/membership/

Rep. Heather Scott represents District 1A in the Idaho House of Representatives.

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