2018 Idaho State Democratic Convention Resolutions

Resolution #1

Name: Courtney Beebe


Category: Healthcare

Resolution: Suicide prevention

WHEREAS, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 1999,

WHEREAS, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Idahoans ages 15 through 34 and for males up to age 44,

WHEREAS, Idaho has the eighth highest suicide rate, 57% higher than the national average in 2016,

WHEREAS, the suicide rate in the farming, fishing, and forestry industries is five times as high as the population as a whole,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party supports efforts to increase mental health care funding for use by cities, counties, public schools, and public universities to provide access to crisis intervention and mental health care,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party supports encouraging each state institution of higher education and public-school servicing grades 8 through 12 to make available to all incoming students information about mental health topics, including depression and suicide prevention resources available to all students. This information provided to students should include available mental health services and other support services, including student-run organizations for individuals at risk of or affected by suicide,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party advocates for supporting the expansion of mental health services and financial counseling services in rural communities to assist the unique challenges and stresses faced by members of the farming, fishing, and forestry industries.

Resolution #2

Name: Tom Backman


Category: Building a future for the Democratic Party

BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party will strengthen support of county Democratic organizations by improving strategic messaging of IDP values, gathering information and feedback from county central committee members, and strengthen development of local strategies to recruit and promote potential candidates for all public appointed and/or elected positions. This process will facilitate the development of local to national strategies and identify successful Democrats that can advance into higher levels of elected positions.

Resolution #3

Name: John Andrechak


Category: Labor

Resolution: Workers’ Rights

WHEREAS, the Idaho Democratic Party recognizes that workers’ rights to organize is not only an inalienable right but is the most certain way to achieving our Party’s stated principle of a livable wage for all Idahoans,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Idaho Democratic Party opposes any government or employer activity that interferes with labor and union activity, and stands foursquare in the labor struggle.

Resolution #4

Name:  Kathy Judson, Cheryl Halverson

Category: Public Lands


WHEREAS, the people of Idaho cherish their public lands and access thereto,

WHEREAS, the Central Idaho Land Exchange is essentially the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange deliberately rebranded,

WHEREAS, the people of Idaho have previously made their opposition so clear to said land exchange that even Sen. Risch refused to bring legislation to facilitate it,

WHEREAS, publicly owned U.S. Forest Service lands are maintained for multiple use as opposed to state-owned lands, which must be maintained for the highest rate of return,

WHEREAS, despite Idaho Department of Lands’ statements that forest land cannot be sold, IDL has historically reclassified land to non-forest, and then sold or exchanged it,

WHEREAS, this three-way deal (IDL puts millions in escrow, Western Pacific Timber transfers the over-harvested “checkerboard” lands in the Upper Lochsa to the Forest Service, the Forest Service transfers existing publicly owned lands to the IDL, which then releases the funds to Western Pacific Timber) may be interpreted as setting precedent for the sale or trade of federal public lands to the states or to private ownership,

WHEREAS, the Idaho Democratic Party has supported protection of and access to our public lands,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party stands in opposition to the rebranded Upper Lochsa Land Exchange (now called Central Idaho Land Exchange) and that the delegates to this convention call upon our elected officials to refrain from any legislation facilitating this exchange.

Resolution #5

Name: Kathy Dawes


Category: Education Funding, Separation of Church, and State


WHEREAS, the Idaho legislature has the constitutional duty to provide a “thorough system of public, free schools,”

WHEREAS, per-student spending in public schools in Idaho is second lowest in the country and Idaho’s revenue relies on fluctuating income and sales taxes, which contribute to volatility in the funding of public education,

WHEREAS, Idaho’s Blaine Amendment states, “Neither the legislature nor any county, city, town, township, school district, or other public corporation, shall ever make any appropriation, or pay from any public fund or moneys whatever, anything in aid of any church or sectarian or religious society, or for any sectarian or religious purpose, or to help support or sustain any school, academy, seminary, college, university or other literary or scientific institution, controlled by any church, sectarian or religious denomination whatsoever . . . .”  Idaho Const. Art. IX, § 5.

WHEREAS, if private and religious schools receive public funding, they would be subject to governmental regulations and control, potentially interfering with their curricula or other practices.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party will work to prevent Idaho taxpayer dollars from going toward paying tuition or fees, directly or by voucher, for religious or private schools.

Resolution #6

Name: Kathy Dawes


Category: Health Care

Resolution: Family Planning

WHEREAS, family planning reduces poverty, increases educational attainment and workforce competitiveness, improves health, and provides people the opportunity to make educated choices,

WHEREAS, family planning results in a reduction in the number of unintended pregnancies, which saves taxpayers and the state significant money that would be spent on support services,

WHEREAS, health care clinics that offer family planning services also offer cancer screenings, basic health services, and routine examinations, and rural communities in Idaho already lack adequate medical services,

WHEREAS, closing family planning institutions punishes women by limiting their economic choices and reduces access to sex education programs that prevent unintended pregnancy and disease,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party promotes increased access to preconception counseling, family planning services, and supplies, especially to low-income women who are otherwise ineligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or health insurance that covers family planning services.

Resolution #7

Name: Kathy Dawes


Category: Healthcare

Resolution: Faith-Healing Exemptions

WHEREAS, Idaho has faith-healing exemptions in four areas of its state law:

1) manslaughter laws, 2) civil liability for abuse or neglect, 3) misdemeanor criminal charges for neglect or injury of a child, and 4) felony criminal charges for neglect or injury of a child, which shelter parents from criminal or civil liability if they deny their children medical care and the children die,

WHEREAS, child advocates estimate that 183 Idaho infants, children, and teens have died because of withheld medical treatment since the exemption laws were enacted by the Idaho Legislature in the 1970s,

WHEREAS, these exemptions apply for a very small segment of the population and are, therefore, discriminatory,

WHEREAS, more children die of faith-based medical neglect in Idaho than any other state, (according to Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, a nonprofit organization that tracks medical neglect),

WHEREAS, NO child should die as a result of neglect of ANY kind,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party will promote legislation to abolish faith-healing exemptions in our state.

Resolution #8

Name: Pat Tucker, Category: Elections

Resolution of the Idaho Democratic Party

to Urge Idaho to Join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

Whereas the Electoral College is undemocratic, disenfranchises voters in U.S. general elections, and violates the one person one vote principle of fair and trusted elections,

Whereas, the U.S. Constitution allows states under Article 2 to determine how they elect electors to the Electoral College, but all states have a winner-takes-all rule except Nebraska and Maine, making it impossible for each person’s vote to count in general elections and in 2000 and 2016 for the majority of the votes not to count,

Whereas, before 2000, only in 1824, 1876, and 1888 did the candidate winning the popular not win the electoral vote, showing that with more urbanization, the outcome of general elections under the Electoral College progressively will be more likely against the popular vote,

Whereas, a rural vote should not count for more than an urban vote,

Whereas, the Electoral College is outdated and, according to legal scholars, was designed to protect the interests of southern slaveholding states,

Whereas, the Electoral College by basing votes on the number of each state’s Congressional delegation shortchanges populous states (California’s electoral college voting power is 16% smaller than allocation based on population would be while the least populous states have 143% of the voting power they would have based on population) and does not reflect contemporary demographics,

Whereas, if the Electoral College votes were counted proportionately among the states, instead of winner take all, both Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 would have the presidential elections,

Whereas, the Electoral College discourages voter turnout,

Whereas, abolishing the Electoral College is difficult (a two-thirds majority is required in both the House and Senate and ratification by three-fourths of the states),

Whereas, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) would not require abolition of the Electoral College but for states with a majority of the electoral votes to agree to use their power under Article II of the constitution to appoint their electors to vote in accordance with the national popular vote outcome.  To date 11 states (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, and Washington) and the District of Columbia have joined NPVIC, amounting to 172 of the 270 electoral vote majority to win.

Whereas, Idaho could place joining the NPVIC on the ballot through a voter initiative, as is currently underway in three states—Arizona, Maine, and Missouri,

Be It Resolved that the Idaho Democratic Party supports joining NPVIC so that every vote of every citizen counts equally in U.S. presidential elections.

Resolution #9

Name: Pat Tucker

Category: Health Care

Resolution of the IDP to Support Medicaid Expansion for All

WHEREAS one Idahoan dies each day because of lack of health care coverage, and countless others suffer irreversible health damage because of delayed care for medical or surgical conditions.

WHEREAS Medicaid expansion will save lives.  Medicaid results in improved health care outcomes, access to services, including behavioral health care, and financial stability for recipients, infant mortality reductions, increases in early cancer diagnoses, increases in opioid use disorder treatment, and improves ongoing care for chronic diseases, and mortality benefits that increase over time as a result of the “heroism of incremental care.”

WHEREAS Medicaid expansion will save money.  Medicaid expansion will save Idaho millions of dollars every year. Medicaid expansion will save money for the state of Idaho and its counties, essentially eliminating the need for the state catastrophic fund and county property tax funds. The original Milliman report, commissioned by the legislature in 2012, suggested Medicaid expansion would save the state $25.7M in fiscal year 2019.

WHEREAS Medicaid is an efficient, comprehensive, cost-effective way to provide care. Medicaid stands out as far more efficient and cost-effective than many other U.S. health care systems, spending only 3.3% of funds for administration.

WHEREAS In expansion states, Medicaid expansion has benefitted the state’s economy. Studies conducted on a national basis, in multiple states, and in single states, demonstrate that Medicaid expansion results in state budget savings, revenue gains, and improved economic growth.

WHEREAS Medicaid is the fair, equitable way to extend healthcare to the working poor and disabled, and will provide coverage to the 51,000 to 62,000 low-income Idahoans now in the gap who currently have no options for health insurance,

WHEREAS Medicaid expansion will likely be on the ballot as an initiative on November 6, 2018,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party supports Medicaid expansion and the election of candidates to state office who support Medicaid expansion.

Resolution #10

Name: Pat Tucker, Category: Superdelegates

Resolution of the Idaho Democratic Party to Abolish Superdelegates

WHEREAS, 712 votes of the 4,763 total votes to nominate the presidential candidate at the Democratic National Convention are cast by “superdelegates” —or 15% of the total and one-third of the total required to secure nomination,

WHEREAS, the votes by superdelegates are unpledged and NOT bound by the results of primaries or caucuses,

WHEREAS, the superdelegate process is fundamentally undemocratic,

WHEREAS, superdelegates are guaranteed their positions based on political patronage (they are current and past national Democratic officeholders and party officials), they are the party elite, they preserve the power and influence of the Democratic Party establishment, and they disenfranchise voters,

WHEREAS, the superdelegate system gives momentum and a near insurmountable early lead for establishment, status quo candidates over grassroots challengers,

WHEREAS, the superdelegate process goes against the Democratic party’s appeal to its base through being a party of all the people,

WHEREAS, the superdelegate process was formed in 1982 by the Hunt Commission to curtail the democracy in the primary process and, thereby, voter participation, and restore control of the nominating process to elected party officials and party elites,

WHEREAS, the Hunt Commission overruled reforms made after the 1968 convention in which Hubert Humphrey, who did not win a single primary, was nominated by the party establishment over Eugene McCarthy, who won a majority of the primaries,

WHEREAS, these reforms were made to give more nominating power to voters, more diversity among voting delegates, and resulted in the dramatic growth of primaries nationwide and nearly tripled participation in primaries and caucuses,

WHEREAS, minorities and women have been historically underrepresented as superdelegates relative to their percentage in the national population,

WHEREAS, Maine passed a resolution at its state convention in 2016 requiring superdelegates to vote in 2020 in proportion to the results of the state primary or caucus,

WHEREAS, the elected delegates, under this resolution, would be released to vote for the presidential nominee of their choice after the first ballot at the national convention,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party, on behalf of its members, supports the DNC abolishing the use of superdelegates and that the DNC and Idaho elect all delegates, with those delegates being pledged to particular candidates based on popular vote outcomes in state primaries or caucuses.

Resolution #11

Name: Archie George


Category: Law and Justice

Resolution: Repeal 2018 Trespass Law

WHEREAS, the controversial trespass bill, which goes into effect July 1, 2018, was hastily composed and passed at the very end of the 2018 Idaho legislative session (see https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article207221099.html),

WHEREAS, Gov. Otter did not sign the bill but let it become law without his signature,

WHEREAS, Governor Otter stated, regarding the bill, in a letter to House Speaker Scott Bedke “there remain significant legal and practical concerns.” In particular, he highlighted 1) “innocent behavior” that could be misinterpreted and severely punished; 2) concern that land surveyors are not specifically exempted from the law’s effects; and 3) “a need for clearer language expressly providing for treble damages for removing timber from public lands,”

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic party will work to repeal the 2018 trespass law during the next (2019) legislative session.

Resolution #12

Name: Matt Killburn


Category: Recognition

Title: Carole King Special Recognition

WHEREAS, Carole King has lived and voted in Idaho for more than 30 years,

WHEREAS, Carole King has been an active Idaho Democrat for over 30 years, dedicating time and resources to help fundraise and build the party,

WHEREAS, Carole King has actively fought to protect public lands in Idaho and been an activist in keeping Idaho lands in Idaho hands,

WHEREAS, 2018 is the “Year of the Woman,”

WHEREAS, Carole King is an absolute queen and beautiful person who has helped get Democrats elected nationally, as well as locally, and advocated for other groups such as the LGBTQ+ community, and has been a visible presence for Idaho at national events,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Carole King will be honored as an Honorary native Idaho Democrat.

Resolution #13

Name:  Susan Eastlake


Category:  Legislative Process

Resolution: Recognizing the Efforts of Idaho Democratic Legislators by Giving Voice to their Proposed Legislation That the Majority Republican Legislature Did Not Allow to Be Heard

WHEREAS, the following list is a sample of the human concerns that Democratic legislators have tried and failed to get addressed in the Idaho Legislature,

Mat Erpelding: IBE Idaho School Readiness Act – effective, statewide early childhood education program

Mat Erpelding:  Idaho Housing Trust Fund – advisory board and funding source earmarked for the Trust Fund created in 1992 but never funded

Mat Erpelding: Corporate Welfare and Low Wage Disclosure Act – state report on large employers who pay low wages

Mat Erpelding:  Plan First Idaho – access to family planning services

Mat Erpelding:  Wage protection – extend the time in which a claim for unpaid wages could be made

Mat Erpelding: Apprenticeship – Including apprenticeship participation as a pre-qualification standard for public works contracts

Melissa Wintrow:  Affordable and workforce housing – interim study committee

Melissa Wintrow:  Equal rights for women – amendment to Idaho Constitution relating to equality of rights and responsibilities

Paulette Jordan: Net neutrality

Ilana Rubel:  Climate change – resolution to appoint legislative committee to undertake a study of climate change

Ilana Rubel:  Add the Words – adding the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s human rights act

Ilana Rubel and Maryanne Jordan: Medicaid Expansion

Ilana Rubel: Motor Voter Act

Ilana Rubel: Plastic bags – repeal law that prohibits cities enacting local regulation of plastic bags

John Gannon:  Children’s Health Care – repeal of faith healing exemption to law requiring medical care for children

John Gannon:  Gun Safety – Restrict automatic rifles from public places within 500 ft of a school

John Gannon:  Rebate unused portion of vehicle registration fees

John Gannon:  Income tax – revenue neutral adoption of the federal income tax changes instead of a $120 million tax cut

John Gannon: Decriminalization of Marijuana – reduce penalty for possession of a half-ounce of marijuana by making it an infraction subject only a civil penalty of community service and education.

Sally Toone:  Rural Teacher Loan Forgiveness Bill

Sally Toone:  Plan First Idaho – Family Planning Services

John McCrostie:  Marriage – repeal section of Idaho Constitution that provides that a marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union recognized in the State of Idaho

John McCrostie:  Minimum wage – repeal law that prohibits cities enacting minimum wage higher than state

Janie Ward Engelking and Mark Nye:  Quality Educator Loan Assistance Act –

Janie Ward Engelking and Mark Nye:  Cannabidiol Oil – legal possession

Janie Ward Engelking:  Women’s Reproductive Health – twelve month supply of contraceptives under certain health benefit plans

Cherie Buckner Webb:  Reducing barriers to employment for individuals with criminal records

Cherie Buckner Webb:  Prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against organ donors


Whereas, time limitations prevented contacting all the legislators regarding proposed legislation that was not heard, and therefore this list is incomplete,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Idaho Democratic Party expresses its gratitude to our legislators for the exemplary effort expended in representing the citizens of Idaho,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED  that the Idaho Democratic Party will continue to give voice to the critical concerns of the citizens of Idaho.

Resolution #14

Name: Irwin Horowitz


Category: Immigration

Resolution: Statement of Support for Protests Against Separation of Children from Parents at the Mexico-U.S. Border

WHEREAS, the U.S. government is detaining people seeking asylum, migrants, and immigrants on our southern border,

WHEREAS, our government is separating children from their parents,

WHEREAS, our government is impeding the process of reuniting these separated children with their parents,

WHEREAS, there are protests today, June 30, 2018, in opposition to these policies of our government,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2018 Idaho State Democratic Convention stand in support and solidarity with our brothers and sisters engaged in these protests.

Resolution #15

WHEREAS, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has targeted immigrants entering the country from the southern border

WHEREAS, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has killed immigrants fleeing for their lives simply because of who they are and where they are entering, without cause.

WHEREAS, ICE and CBP are working in tandem to violently separate children and families, many of which get lost in the system or ultimately get deported back to the dangerous situation they were fleeing from in the first place.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Idaho Democratic Party demands abolition of policies that enforce racism, bigotry, and human rights violations that are implemented by ICE and the CBP.