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Coming Up:

TUESDAY, MARCH 15

 

I will preside over a meeting of the State Board of Examiners, 8:55 a.m., followed immediately by a meeting of the State Land Board, Boise City Council chambers, third floor, Boise City Hall.

 

I will sign a proclamation for the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation's "Mission 43" initiative to help Idaho's post-9/11 veterans transition from military to civilian life, 12:30 p.m., Stueckle Sky Center, Boise State University.  


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Idaho Day at the Capitol 

 
Friday March 4th was Idaho Day, and we celebrated this year with great events at the Capitol. First, I was invited to speak in the House of Representatives on what I love most about our great state. I was joined by former Governors Cecil Andrus, Dirk Kempthorne and Jim Risch. Unfortunately, Governor Phil Batt was unable to attend since he's recovering from a recent illness. We wish him a speedy recovery.

The House ceremony was incredibly moving. This year's theme for Idaho Day was "Idaho Heroes, Past and Present," and thanks to the respectful work of Representatives Linden Bateman, Ilana Rubel and Luke Malek the event was a wonderful celebration of that theme. 
 
Immediately following the House ceremonies we transitioned the Idaho Day observances to the Capitol's second-floor Rotunda where I signed a proclamation officially recognizing the day. The Idaho State Historical Society organized a number of speakers and performances for the noon hour to showcase the significance of Idaho's history and heroes. Former Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General David Leroy was the main speaker and master of ceremonies for the event, while BLM firefighter Erik Killoy was the speaker chosen to share his story of heroism. A group of student singers from Longfellow Elementary School, Jena Carpenter, the Air Force Color Guard, and the Idaho 25th Army Band Saxophone Ensemble all performed. 
 
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Idaho Day. I can't wait to see what's in store for next year's Idaho Day celebration!
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Remembering Nancy Reagan
 
I couldn't let this edition of my newsletter pass without saying a few words about a great former First Lady, Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan passed away this month and will be dearly missed. As the wife of one of my favorite presidents, she was the embodiment of poise and grace before, during, and after Ronald Reagan's tenure as our 40th president. Mrs. Reagan showed incredible courage dealing with challenges that included a 1981 assassination attempt on her husband's life. Then in 19 87 she chose to publicly deal with a breast cancer diagnosis. Her recovery from that disease set a powerful example that led to more American women getting mammograms for early breast cancer detection. Mrs. Reagan faced adversity once again in 1994 when it was revealed that President Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's disease, which led to his death ten years later. As someone who appreciates the importance of having a great partner by his side, I always admired Nancy Reagan's stalwart resolve and deep abiding love for her husband.

Nancy Reagan was a wonderfully strong and elegant First Lady who will remain forever in our memories as an iconic figure of a golden age in American leadership. Miss Lori and I mourn her loss and celebrate her legacy.
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Magistrate Scott Wayman Appointed First District Judge
On Thursday March 3rd I appointed Magistrate Scott Wayman of Coeur d'Alene to the First District judgeship left vacant by the recent retirement of Judge Fred Gibler. My thanks to Judge Gibler for his service and to the Idaho Judicial Council for sending me a great slate of candidates from which to choose.

Judge Wayman has been a magistrate in northern Idaho's First Judicial District since 2000. He will have chambers in Shoshone County in his new position and will hear cases in Shoshone and Benewah counties, as well as in other First Judicial District counties as assigned.

Judge Wayman received his bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University and his law degree from the University of Idaho. The Chicago native previously was chief civil deputy in Kootenai County's Legal Services Department, a deputy prosecutor for Kootenai County, and in a private law practice in Orofino.

I received consistently glowing reports on Judge Wayman's judicial temperament, fairness, work ethic, experience, professionalism and knowledge of the law. It really is a great privilege to appoint such an exemplary jurist to the First District bench - one with such a sterling reputation among his peers and those who have appeared before him.
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2016 Mother of the Year Awards
 
Wednesday March 2nd I signed a proclamation for Idaho Mothers Week, celebrating the hard work and care that mothers across Idaho provide for their families. We also awarded Mother of the Year citations to several recipients with the help of the Idaho Association of American Mothers. This is the 70th year that an Idaho Mother of the Year has been named. The tradition of making the announcement in the Idaho Capitol has been followed by Governors throughout the years. I have always been proud to continue the tradition, especially considering that Idaho is one of the few states that still maintains and promotes the Mother of the Year awards. This year's recipients were Shawna Morrissey for "Idaho Young Mother of the Year," Lorraine Ball for "Idaho Mother of the Year," and Former First Lady Patricia Kempthorne for "Idaho Mother of Achievement." Mrs. Kempthorne also received one of five national "Mother of Achievement" awards. Thank you to everyone who joined us for Idaho Mothers Week and congratulations to all of the award recipients.

Learn more about Mother of the Year across the USA. 
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Coffee with the Governor
 
For the second time this year I hosted my "Coffee with the Governor" event in the Legislative Dining Room at the Capitol. I started this event last year to give our legislators and agency leaders an opportunity to meet with each other, lobbyists, my staff and me in an informal setting to talk about the issues we all face this session. It enables our state leaders to discuss issues that we might not get the opportunity to address in the office or during committee meetings. This month's event was a great success, and I'm grateful to everyone who came out to visit with me and my staff.
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20th Anniversary of Idaho Jalisco Sister State
 
March 9th marked the 20th anniversary of the Sister State relationship between Idaho and Mexican state of Jalisco (ha-LEE'-sko). To commemorate the occasion, I welcomed a delegation of officials from Jalisco to discuss trade, cooperative programs and strengthening relations between Mexico and Idaho. Diego Adraian de Leon Segovia, director of foreign affairs for Jalisco's governor; Octavio López De la Cruz, mayor of El Nayar; Celso Humberto Delgado Ramirez, the Mexican consul in Boise; and Wilma Gandoy-Vazquez, the deputy Mexican consul, made up the delegation that met with me and representatives from the Idaho Department of Commerce and Idaho State Department of Agriculture. It was great to visit with the delegation about the economic and cultural importance of our international relationship. Mexico was Idaho's top agricultural export market last year and was our sixth overall export destination. Doing business with our neighbor to the south is imperative to Idaho's merchant-state economy and the sister-state agreement with Jalisco has strengthened our trade relations for the past 20 years. Thank you to everyone from Jalisco who visited our state, and thanks to all those who helped mark this important anniversary.
 
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First Lady's Focus: First Lady Otter and Miss Idaho Kalie Wright Read at Hidden Springs Elementary

Hidden Springs Elementary is entering its seventh year as a public school in the Boise District. The community of families with children enrolled at Hidden Springs has grown very close, and almost all the students who attend the school live nearby.
 
March 2nd was Dr. Seuss's birthday, and Hidden Springs Elementary was one of thousands of schools, libraries and community centers throughout the nation that participated in Read Across America. For several years local educators have worked diligently to make it a special day for Boise schools. Each year celebrity readers visit schools to read Dr. Seuss books to students, and this year First Lady Lori Otter and Miss Idaho Kalie Wright were able to participate.

And since it also was Read Across America Week, some schools chose to make it a true weeklong event.  On Monday, Hidden Springs observed "DEAR Day" - for Drop Everything And Read.  Tuesday was crazy socks/hats for "Hats off for reading," and Wednesday was "Dress as Your Favorite Dr. Seuss Character Day" and the day for visits from celebrity readers.

Read Across America was developed in 1997 by the National Education Association.  Its purpose is to motivate children to read and to celebrate reading. Statistics show that children who are motivated about reading and read more do better in school.  Read Across America takes place on the closest school day to Dr. Seuss's birthday. And as the good doctor said, "Be awesome! Be a book nut!"

Dr. Seuss Facts
  • At the time of Theodor Seuss Geisel's death in 1991, his 46 children's books had sold more than 200 million copies, and his last, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" (1990), was still on bestseller lists.
  • His books, which he both illustrated and wrote, have been translated into 20 languages as well as Braille.
  • Dr. Seuss wasn't really a doctor. He added the title Dr. because his father always wanted him to be one!
  • To support himself and his wife during the Great Depression, Dr. Seuss made money drawing cartoons for advertisements. He became a household name for his cartoons for an insecticide called Flit by coining the catchphrase "Quick, Henry, the Flit!"
  • Dr. Seuss has an even bigger impact on pop culture than you might think. The first recorded instance of the word "nerd" is in his book "If I Ran the Zoo," published in 1950.
  • Like many of Dr. Seuss' books, "Horton Hears a Who" was not just about an elephant hearing tiny voices, but an allegory for America's treatment of post-war Japan. The small country needed the support of a large country to get back on its feet after the devastation of World War II, and Dr. Seuss wrote about Horton's plight with the Who after a trip to Hiroshima. The book was dedicated to a friend of his in Japan.
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Spotlight Agency: Idaho State Tax Commission
 
Tax Commission Steps up Efforts to Prevent Tax Fraud/Identity Theft
From 2014 to 2015, the Idaho State Tax Commission saw a 64-percent increase in stolen identities used to file Idaho income tax returns. Because identity theft is a very real and increasing threat, the Tax Commission has taken some extra steps to safeguard your identity and make sure your refund is going to you.

Identity Verification 
The Tax Commission may send you a letter asking you to verify some information after you file your individual income taxes this year. The letter may ask you to:
  • Verify your identity by taking a short online quiz, or    
  • Verify your identity by providing copies of documents, or    
  • Verify whether you filed a return by going online and entering some information that's provided in the letter.
If you receive a verification letter, you should take it seriously and reply quickly. Your refund won't be sent until your information has been verified.

Also, if you e-file this year, you'll be asked for extra information to combat stolen-identity tax fraud. If you have a state-issued driver's license or identification card, you'll be asked to enter information from it when you e-file. Although your return won't be rejected if the information isn't entered, providing it will help the return process faster.

Partnership with IRS, State Tax Agencies, and Tax Software Industry 
The Tax Commission has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), other state tax agencies, and the tax software industry to develop stronger fraud detection and prevention tools for all aspects of the tax filing process this year.

Many of the new safeguards are invisible to the public but will help the Tax Commission and the IRS verify the identity of taxpayers and the validity of tax returns. For example, there are new password standards for tax software, and the IRS, the states, and the industry are sharing more information about identity theft schemes.

Taxpayer Responsibility
You can also join the fight against identity theft by taking a few simple steps to protect your tax and other personal data.
  1. Safeguard your computer when you're online. Always use security software to combat computer malware and viruses.
  2. Don't take the bait. Avoid phishing and malware attempts designed to steal your data. Sophisticated identity thieves often pose as your bank, your credit card companies, your tax software provider - and even the IRS.
  3. Make identity protection part of your routine. Check credit and bank statements regularly, and review your credit report or Social Security Administration account once a year.
  4. Protect your online passwords. Don't share your passwords with anyone, and don't use the same password for multiple accounts.
If you suspect your identity has been compromised, contact one of the three credit bureaus immediately and request a fraud alert. A fraud alert helps protect your credit accounts. Also, i f you're a victim of identity theft and are concerned about your taxes being affected, contact the Tax Commission and the IRS as soon as possible. Identity theft information is available on the Tax Commission website at   tax.idaho.gov/idtheft .

We all have a role to play in protecting your data. By working together, we can combat the identity criminals and keep your information secure. For more details, visit the Tax Commission's " Security " Web page at tax.idaho.gov/security and the IRS resource page at www.irs.gov/taxessecuritytogether .
 
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Appointments

1st District Magistrates Commission
Mayor David Sims - Bonners Ferry
 
5th District Magistrates Commission
Janet Hansen - Burley
 
Architectural Examiners
Garth Jensen - Rexburg
 
State Building Authority
Shelly Jo Enderud - Post Falls
Bud Tracy - Malta
 
Catastrophic Health Care Board
David High - Boise
 
Dentistry (Hygienist) Board
Meg Long Woodhouse - Pocatello
 
Drinking Water & Waste Water Professionals
Brad Don Andersen - Iona
Dr. Joan Cloonan - Garden City
 
Emergency Medical Services Physician Commission
Dr. Ann Lima - Orofino
 
Food Quality Assurance Institute
Wayne Hurst - Burley
 
Forest Products Commission
Darin Robert Ball - Lewiston
 
Health Quality Planning Commission
Dr. Robert Polk - Boise
 
Idaho Housing & Finance Association
Nancy Vannorsdel - Eagle
Human Rights Commission
Dan Cravens - Blackfoot
 
Juvenile Corrections Board
Steven Jett - Greenleaf
 
Occupational Therapy Licensure Board
Kristin Guidry - Meridian
Caren DeAngelis - Boise
Michael Spero - Boise
 
PNWER Idaho Council
Jack McIver - Moscow
Gen. Brad Richy - Garden City
 
Pea & Lentil Commission
Kevin Meyer - Moscow
 
Physical Therapy Licensure Board
Andrew Mix - Twin Falls
 
Plumbing Board
Gilbert Pond - Meridian
 
Racing Commission
Paul J. Schneider - Boise