AAUW Idaho leaders with senators at the state capitol

AAUW Idaho President Kathy Scott, Senator Janie Ward-Engelking, Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb, AAUW Idaho VP Public Policy Gayle Wilde, and AAUW Boise Area Branch President Julie Custer (April 6, 2015)

The Public Policy Program underscores AAUW’s mission of promoting equity for women and girls

2018 Legislative Session

The 2018 Idaho Legislative Session convenes  on  January 8. Key priority issues for the session will be determined by the Lobby Corps in early January.

2017 Recap

AAUW Idaho’s Lobby Corps met January 4, 2017, to determine key priorities for 2017 and train members to lobby more effectively.  The training was led by Beth Oppenheimer, executive director of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) and former Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb, currently BSU government affairs director.


Lobby Training Jan. 2017


Bruce Newcomb and Beth Oppenheimer


Beth Oppenheimer






The 2017 AAUW Idaho Statehouse Lobby Corps Coordinating Committee members are: Linda Anderson, Boise Area Branch Public Policy Chair; Sylvia Chariton, Boise Area Branch President; Julie Custer, AAUW Idaho Co-President; Kathy Scott, AAUW Idaho Co-President; and Gayle Wilde, AAUW Idaho Vice President Public Policy.  AAUW members from around the state will be actively engaged in citizen lobbying efforts during the legislative session.

Key priority issues were:

  • Add the Words – Support; bill is once again dead for the session.
  • Education
    a. Vouchers – Oppose
    b. Funding for public schools – Support.  Conversely, we OPPOSE HB 67, which provides a tax break for the wealthiest Idaho earners ($400,000+ households will receive the heftiest tax break, while average earners will get up to $32) and cuts the general fund by $51.2 million:  impacts to education and infrastructure spending will be painful.  Idaho remains 49th in the nation for education spending; this is not the time to provide tax cuts for those who don’t need it.
    c. School Readiness – Support: Review the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYCAdvocacy Toolkit 2017
  • Health care:  We support Close the Gap Idaho and access to quality health care for all Idahoans.  It was a HUGE disappointment that legislators FAILED to address the needs of over 78,000 Idahoans in need of health care during the session, with the weak excuse that they were waiting for D.C. to pick up the ball.
  • Sexual Assault Evidence – AAUW strongly supports HB 146, which creates much needed standards for preservation of sexual assault evidence.
  • Women’s Reproductive RightsSupport full access to women’s reproductive health care services.

Visit the Idaho State Legislature page to locate and contact your elected officials. Please write your legislators to let them know your position on our issues: your comments do count!  Be respectful, concise, and be sure to include your full contact information (name and address are required; phone number is optional) when corresponding via email with legislators. Find sample letters from the 2016 session here. Scroll down this page to the “Contact Your Elected Officials” section for more tips.

Add the Words Rally 2015

Add the Words Rally Jan. 17, 2015

To find legislative reading calendars and agendas to track bills during the winter session, check the Senate and House calendars in the side bar of the main page  (you may also sign up here for the bill tracker to receive updates on bills of interest) .  Look up bills by subject to review fiscal impact, read full bill text (after printing) and find voting records. AAUW members rally1.17.15who attend a committee hearing are then encouraged to complete and submit a Meeting Report Form to our Lobby Corps leaders. AAUW members may use the What is AAUW? elevator speech to share with legislators. Members may download an AAUW postcard to send to legislators with comments or to thank them for meeting with you.

Public Policy VP Gayle Wilde, January 17, 2015

Public Policy VP Gayle Wilde, January 17, 2015

Download a copy of How A Bill Becomes A Law to visualize the steps required to bring a bill forward, and then learn how to effectively Lobby Your Legislators.

Tune in to Idaho Public Television’s (IPTV) Idaho in Session: Legislature Live to live stream hearings (and more) during the session (usually January–March).  Follow Betsy Russell’s blog, Eye on Boise, and Idaho Reports for up-to-date reporting.


Submit a Letter to the Editor 

Gloria Steinem at AAUW Convention, photo by Janet House

Gloria Steinem at AAUW Convention, photo by Janet House

Click here for letter writing guidelines and tips from AAUW.   (Generally speaking, to submit a letter, go to the publication’s Opinion page or click on Services for a submission form.)

Additional Resources woman and boy with feminism sign

2014-2016 AAUW Idaho Priority Issues

Andrus Center for Public Policy

Campus sexual violence tool for students, schools and advocates.

Close the Gap Idaho: Sign up to follow efforts to close the health insurance coverage gap in Idaho.

Go Lead Idaho:  A nonprofit motivating women to lead and demonstrating why it matters.

Human Trafficking:  AAUW Idaho has worked with the director of the Idaho Trafficking of Human Beings Awareness Campaign. If you would like more information on this effort, including training opportunities in Idaho, please email Merikay Jost.  For AAUW’s position on this issue, check out AAUW’s Quick Facts on Human Trafficking.

Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho aeyc): Advancing Idaho’s early learning profession.

Idaho Center for Fiscal Policy:  Learn about Education Funding Challenges and Realities in Idaho and read the new 2015 Report here.

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

Idaho Education Association

Idaho Education News

Idaho Women Lawyers

Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest  Get Involved in this Grassroots Effort to Raise the Minimum Wage in Idaho

TransForm Idaho – Check their Calendar for issue and training events in Boise, including Medicaid redesign, tax policy and education.

United Vision for Idaho – Coalition leader to increase the minimum wage in Idaho


You know that the most powerful tool we have is our vote. But do your friends and family know? What about your co-workers and neighbors? Anyone can check their voter registration status – their power – by visiting AAUW coalition partner Invite everyone on your contact list to check their status today!  You may also find official information specifically for Idaho voters at Idaho Votes.  Be sure to cast your ballot on all elections throughout the year: vote absentee.  Download absentee ballots requests for primary and general elections.  To find the address of your county clerk so you can mail in your form, click here.

Scroll down this page to find links to contact your members of Congress, to explore other resources, and to learn more about AAUW Idaho’s work during past Idaho legislative sessions.

Contact Your Elected Officials DC capitol building

Visit the Idaho Legislature Home Page to reach legislators and elected congressional officials, get information on committee meetings, current issues, and track bills online. To send a message to an entire committee during the Idaho legislative session, select How to Contact Legislators and click on Contact by Committee. Choose the appropriate committee, then email each legislator via the form provided (it’s easiest to copy and paste your message into the form). You may also contact committee members individually by typing the legislator’s first initial and last name, followed by or

The President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC  20500

White House comments: 202/456-1111
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202/224-3121

For more than a century, AAUW has influenced public policy debate on critical issues such as education, Social Security, sex discrimination, civil rights, reproductive choice, affirmative action, Title IX, welfare reform, vocational education, pay equity, family and medical leave, and health care reform.

Visit the AAUW national website’s Issues Advocacy pages to learn more about AAUW’s public policy priorities.  From this page, you may access the AAUW Voting Record, Fact Sheets and Position Papers, become a Two-Minute Activist, subscribe to the AAUW Action Network, and subscribe to our monthly public policy newsletter.

We Are Women March & Rally in Boise, April 28, 2012

We Are Women March & Rally in Boise, April 28, 2012

Did you know that Idaho’s Senator Jim Risch voted against reauthorization of VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act), the Paycheck Fairness Act and a host of other AAUW priorities? Please review AAUW Action Fund’s Congressional Voting Record to see how our elected delegation voted (it’s not good).  Spread the word. Support AAUW’s work by donating at the AAUW Action Fund site. The AAUW Action Fund advances equity for women and girls through member activism and voter mobilization.

Past Idaho Legislative Sessions

Advocacy 2016 Legislative Recap

Advocacy: 2015 Legislative Recap

Advocacy 2009-2014


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