Mahatma Ghandi said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” What would he think of the 2019 “accomplishments” of Idaho’s legislators? Children remain unvaccinated, denied basic medical care and potentially denied access to information about their own bodies. Women are denied easy access to family planning, forced into underage marriages by parents or a judge if they are pregnant. The working poor are stuck with an inadequate minimum wage and jobs that offer no health benefits, and the legislation that was supposed to help them get health care is now being bogged down with requirements to make it harder to get. A proposal to end discrimination against Christians is heard and voted on, but there is no move to grant equal rights to the LGBT folks who suffer discrimination every day. Is this “the Idaho way”?
Lori Poublon Ramirez, Meridian
Canyon County jail
Just what we don’t need: higher taxes. That is what out-of-control spenders are advocating in Canyon County. I am referring to a quarter-trillion-dollar expenditure over the next 20 years for a huge new jail and its accompanying cost of operation. That’s the price tag as calculated by the Concerned Citizens of Canyon County Committee.
According to committee member Ron Harriman, construction of the jail alone would increase county taxes by 23.9 percent. Even worse, the addition of 400 new prisoners (of more than 700 currently on pretrial release) would hike property taxes to an astounding 46 percent.
The proposed 1,055-bed jail would ultimately cost $262,723,500 after interest payments of $75,721,500, according to Harriman. In comparison, Ada County, with a population nearly double Canyon County’s, has a jail of 1,224 beds.
Commissioners Dale and White want the new jail. We can’t afford it. Nampa already has the highest taxes in the state with one of the lowest per capita incomes. Building that oversize jail would force taxpayers into a 20-year debtor’s prison, and increase homelessness as rents continue to soar. There is a sensible solution: Expand the existing jail for $7,000,000 with current funds.
Charles Fuller, Nampa