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Senator Abby Lee Newsletter – District 9 – January 29, 2021

Dear friends,

As we end week three of the legislative session, I want to express my appreciation for the many calls and emails I received. I try my best to get back to everyone, but if I missed you, please send another note or email my office at smjals@senate.idaho.gov.

In considering the responses I received to the Governor’s rebuke of our efforts last week, I am even more convinced that it’s past time to quit blaming each other and get down to solutions.

I have no doubt that Governor Little believes in his heart he is right. But I am also listening to the varied responses from each of you.

While many of you reached out to express support for the Governor’s efforts, most of the responses included the concern that I was going to stop relief efforts – including vaccinations, National Guard assistance and PPE support for our hospitals. 

Let me be clear: The Senate never advanced any legislation that would cut off these funds.

I support voluntary vaccine measures as well as the National Guard’s help with this statewide effort. I also support the Governor’s ability to make emergency and disaster declarations.

However, none of these emergency declarations require restrictions on people. And that’s where the frustration seems to be focused.

Statewide mandates that carry the threat of misdemeanor penalties – including fines and jail time – are simply not the answer. Especially when they are not being enforced. This is an affront to the rule of law. Did you know that if you gather with more than 10 people – who are not your family members – you could be charged with a misdemeanor? Each of us has likely been “guilty” of doing this over the past few months, and yet, I have not heard of anyone being charged with this crime.

Instead of criminal sanctions, let’s put our continued focus on educating, encouraging and incentivizing people to take personal responsibility to protect each other.

I look forward to continuing to serve you.

Sincerely,

Abby Lee

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