Legislative Recap

4-8-11

Cornerstone & You Making a Difference
8 Pro-Family/Pro-Life Successes!!!

  • SUCCESS:  S1165 Idaho’s Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

S1165 cleared its final hurdle with a full House vote of 54-14! (Party line with 1 Republican joining all 13 Democrats voting no.)

To read how all legislators voted go to: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/S1165.htm

The next stop is Governor Otter’s desk. He has indicated that he will sign it! Once he signs it the law goes into effect.

Working on this legislation was quite a difficult battle with multiple twists and turns. The obstacles thrown in the path of progress were intense and it was so rewarding to experience God’s hand as we worked through each issue. We partnered with Right to Life Idaho each step of the way and it was a great collaboration.

It is hard to express how brilliantly, diligently and graciously Senator Chuck Winder moved this pro-life bill through the process. Idaho is truly blessed to this statesman of such integrity. Senator Bart Davis was integral to the process in clearing/answering legal hurdles. A total of 5 Senators co-sponsored this bill. Senator Russ Fulcher and Senator Sherry Nuxoll, supported S1165 on the Senate floor with passionate, reasoned debate. And, Senator Monty Pearce, Senator Shirley McKague, Senator Brent Hill, and Senator Curt McKenzie were tremendously helpful in the process.

Rep. Brent Crane and Rep. Lynn Luker did a brilliant job presenting the issue. Rep. Shannon McMillan and Co-sponsors Rep. Vito Barbieri, Rep. Dick Harwood, Rep. Reed DeMordaunt gave amazing testimony in support of S1165 and in support of life.

Idaho citizens owe a huge debt of gratitude to these legislators as well as the remainder of the 16 so-sponsors; Rep. Janice McGeachin, Rep. Ken Roberts, Rep. Judy Boyle, Rep. Jim Guthrie, Rep. Steve Thayn Rep. Paul Shepherd, Rep. Cliff Bayer; all of whom willingly stand in the gap for our most vulnerable citizens.

The difference in worldview between the pro-life legislators and the pro-abortion legislators was stunning. The most shocking arguments against protecting unborn babies from excruciating pain came from Democrats Rep. Rusche and Rep. Burgoyne. Rep. Rusche said that as a doctor he knows there is no question that an unborn baby at 20-plus weeks feels pain. But he did not consider that to be the issue. For Rep. Rusche, the greater concern is for the woman who is “burdened” with a baby with a fatal anomaly. He opined that to force her to carry this disabled baby to term is “cruel.”   Rep. Burgoyne took this a step further when he said that if a woman who becomes pregnant due to rape is unable to exercise self- defense at the time of the attack, she should be able to retro-actively engage in self- defense by eliminating the fruits of the crime…aborting the pregnancy.  This type of rationalization is nothing short of shocking.

However, the pro-life legislators defended the unborn and their moms passionately and brilliantly. We are truly blessed in Idaho to have a majority of legislators who affirm life. Please take a moment to thank them.

Keep in mind that this is a great step forward. We, in the pro-life community, remain committed to protecting all life from the moment of conception until natural death.

Cases like Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton have allowed abortion for any reason throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy. Over the last 38 years we have experienced the burden the courts have imposed on Americans making it incredibly difficult to protect life. We have learned that the prudent and very productive method is to take smaller, incremental steps to protect unborn babies and their mothers. This is what we in Idaho have been doing year after year.

Since the 1973 Roe decision, science has advanced in leaps and bounds, showing irrefutably that at 20 weeks, an unborn baby feels pain. S1165 will be considered as one of the most protective laws in the country, as it establishes the state’s interest in protecting its citizens from barbaric pain…at the point in life they can experience that pain.

MORE SUCCESSES:

  • SUCCESS:  (Passed) S1115 Obamacare/Abortion opt-out

We lobbied and testified in support of S1115. 

Sen. Curt McKenzie sponsored S1115 and was joined in working on this by co-sponsors; Sen. Monty Pearce, Sen. Shirley McKague, Sen. Lee Heider  and Rep. Tom Loertscher, Rep. Judy Boyle, Rep. Linden Bateman, Rep. Vito Barbieri, and Rep. Marv Hagedorn. Governor Otter has signed S1115 into law.

Find out how your legislator voted here: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/S1115.htm

  • SUCCESS: (Passed) HCR23 removed Medicaid abortion loophole rule H&W injected

We also lobbied for and supported HCR23.

The loophole rule stated that Medicaid would pay for the abortion of a female who became pregnant prior to her 18th birthday. Rep. Janice McGeachin went the distance to see that this rule was successfully removed, thanks to HCR23.

Find out how your legislator voted: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/HCR023.htm

  • SUCCESS: (Passed) S1070a Physician-Assisted Suicide Ban

Cornerstone researched and lobbied diligently in support of a ban on physician-assisted suicide.

S1070a was patiently and diligently moved through the legislative process by Sen. Russ Fulcher. His co-sponsors are: Sen. Steve Vick, Sen. Sherry Nuxoll, Rep. Cliff Bayer, Rep. Lynn Luker, Rep. Nielson, Rep. Reed DeMordaunt. Governor Otter signed S1070a , Physician Assisted Suicide Ban into law.

Find out how your legislator voted: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/S1070.htm

  • SUCCESS: (Defeated) S1105a “Anti-Bullying”

Cornerstone researched and lobbied diligently in opposition of this bill.

Sponsored by activist Senator Nicole LeFavour and Education Committee members Sen. Shawn Keough and Sen. John Goedde, the “Anti-Bullying” bill started out as a “Trojan Horse” for the GLBT groups to get sexual orientation into code.

It was a bold introduction of the “thought police” into the homes of citizens. It defined bullying and harassment as “incidents perpetrated against a student based upon actual or perceived differentiating characteristics.” It also made provisions for misdemeanor charges to be filed against students who throughout the course of their school-age life were charged three times with bullying. It did not specify that the bullying had to occur on school property and did not define “school age”. The final portion of the bill provided for educational seminars/materials to be provided to teachers and required uniform training in recognizing bullying.

The GLBT community filled the room with proponents who testified in support of the bill. Two parents testified against the misdemeanor component, but Cornerstone was alone in testifying against the entire bill.

Alliance Defense Fund attorney Doug Napier provided Cornerstone with excellent information and talking points. Because of Cornerstone’s association with ADF, we were able to utilize Doug’s information in testimony and the original bill failed.

The sponsors amended it to remove what we called “the thought police component” and the misdemeanor charges. Definitions are much clearer and more tightly worded. The teacher indoctrination component remained in the bill.

As the Session ended, S1105a languished in the House. Cornerstone would like to bring forward a better anti-bullying bill in 2012.

Find out how your legislator voted: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/S1105.htm

SUCCESSFUL COMPROMISE (Passed Amended)  H205a  Public Library Internet Filter

Cornerstone assisted in support of this bill.

The sponsor of this bill, REP. MACK SHIRLEY, asked for Cornerstone to help promote this family friendly legislation. Regular citizens and Cornerstone supported the bill against a barrage of opposition from all of the public library organizations, library boards, and leaders.

They were able to intimidate just enough committee members so at the request of one of the Senate committee members we gave up mandatory filters on adult computers to keep mandatory filters on computers used by children. It is quite a concession, but without it we would have lost the bill. So we took the short yardage in hopes of moving the ball further next year.

Find out how your legislator voted:    http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/H0205.htm

  • SUCCESS (Passed) HJM1 Parental Rights Amendment Joint Memorial

Cornerstone and Capstone-trained students testified in support of this bill.

This bill asks our congressional delegation to work on passing a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S Constitution to send to the states for ratification. Cornerstone joined Idaho Coalition of Home Educators, Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State, and ParentalRights.org in support of this legislation.

Two students trained in Cornerstone’s Capstone Student Legislature also persuasively testified in support of parental rights.  One of the surprises of the session was the level of opposition this bill experienced prior to its successful completion of the process. SPONSORS Rep. Bob Nonini and Rep. Mike Moyle and Sen. Russ Fulcher and Sen. Steve Vick skillfully shepherded HJM1 through the entire process.

Find out how your legislator voted: http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/HJM001.htm

  • SUCCESS (Passed) H298 Nullification

One bill of note that rapidly worked its way through the process in the final weeks of the session is H298, a “lighter” version of the original nullification bill. This is a success for Idaho families and is now on the governor’s desk!

Sponsored by Senators Pearce, Vick, Nuxoll, Fulcher, Hammond, McKenzie, and Representaives Barbieri, Boyle, Crane, Denney, Moyle, Balbao, Barrett, Hart, Harwood, Palmer, Schaeffer, McMillan, Shepherd, Sims, Thayn, Hagadorn, and J. Wood. H298 expands the Idaho Health Freedom Act to include greater protections for Idaho employers, insurers and medical providers, and to stop the operability of discretionary provisions in Obamacare, and the unnecessary implementation of Obamacare during 2012.

Find out how your legislator voted:    http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2011/H0298.htm

  • SUCCESS in 2012

There were MULTIPLE PIECES of legislation that needed our attention. We did all that we could. However, there simply was not enough time and we did not have enough staff to research, lobby, and debate on every issue that cried out for our attention.

Cornerstone Family Council SERIOUSLY NEEDS your involvement as we continue our work for Idaho families. Please consider your level of financial and personal involvement as we link arms across Idaho to protect, defend and strengthen Idaho families. Many of the same anti-family, pro-homosexual agenda bills will show up again in 2012. We must be able to continue to stand in the gap and speak out good policy that affirms Idaho families.  With your off-session support now, we can prepare to effectively do so.