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State legislators react to eventful week in Boise

State capitol building in Boise, ID
State capitol building in Boise, ID

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - This past week was busy in our state capital, with multiple bills up for legislation and a local representative proposing the impeachment of Governor Brad Little.

State Representative Chad Christensen, an Ammon native, is pushing to see the impeachment of Governor Little due to his handling of the pandemic.

While Christensen may have some of his colleagues on board, members from both parties say there is bipartisan support in the other direction.

“I really don't support that at all, and I don't think a lot of legislators do either," said State Representative Marco Erickson (R). "It's definitely not the voice of the house in general.”

“Some of us feel like he should have done more, and others feel like he did too much," said State Representative James Ruchti (D) "That's kind of the way it goes when you're a public official, but to suggest that he has violated the constitution and committed acts that are worthy of impeachment is just beyond the pale.”

Other legislation was up for debate in the capital as well. On Friday, state lawmakers proposed a constitutional amendment that would prevent the future legalization of marijuana.

Representative Erickson is in support of the amendment, saying it could help prevent future drug use in the state.

“I spent 25 years of my life in my career working in drug and alcohol prevention," Erickson said. "So, anytime that I could be a part of something that will prevent further drug use in our state and for the teenagers that I work with on a regular basis, I'm fully in support of that.”

Representative Ruchti is not in support of the amendment, saying it takes a very narrow-minded perspective.

“I think that's a short sighted bill," Ruchti said. "I think it's a short sighted effort. I'm not even sure what exactly they're trying to accomplish with it, but it creates problems for people who are dealing with cancer."

For Ruchti, the most important issue going forward is vaccine distribution, and believes we should still respect COVID-19 protocols until it is ready for widespread use.

“Everybody should understand that we still are in the middle of this pandemic and until we get the vaccines distributed, we need to be cautious," Ruchti said. "We need to follow the data, the facts and science that govern this pandemic.”

Erickson says his Republican and Democrat colleagues may disagree on different issues, but says they all want what's best for the state of Idaho.

“It's a pleasure getting to know all these different legislators and regardless of what they're voting for, what they stand for, they're really trying to work hard on behalf of their constituents," Erickson said.

State legislators will be back in Boise for session on Monday.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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