Senator Doug Ricks - District 34 Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Idaho State Legislture

January 15, 2021

Senator Doug Ricks - District 34 Newsletter

Dear Friends,


I am humbled and honored to serve as your Idaho State Senator for District 34. The 2021 Legislative Session has begun and right out of the gate we have introduced legislation to revise the balance of power delegated to the executive branch during emergencies. Much effort has been poured into this work, and the Senate and House Majority Leaderships have been leading the way. More about this will be forthcoming in future newsletters, but you should see an end to the Governor’s Emergency Declaration soon.



This week I received the 2020 AG ALL-STAR Award from the Food Producers of Idaho for supporting legislation important to agriculture. Idaho farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our state's economy. This is the second year in a row receiving the award.


During the past two years, while serving one term in the House of Representatives, I worked hard to bring legislation which would be beneficial to East Idahoans and I will continue this work ethic in the Senate. In fact, only one other legislator was able to pass more bills than I did last year (I had seven). I will keep you informed about my legislation and matters important to our district.


For more details, you can log onto where you will find bills, committee recordings, and live stream videos of our House and Senate floor sessions. I look forward to your involvement.



Doug Ricks


Doug Ricks
Statehouse (208) 332-1301 (Session Only)

Judiciary & Rules – Vice Chair
Agricultural Affairs
Local Government & Taxation

Governor Little delivers his State of the State Address


This Monday, the First Regular Session of the 66th Idaho Legislature convened. Legislators from all over the state gathered at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise to begin the people’s work of balancing the state’s budget and considering proposals.


Representatives from Idaho’s Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches joined together in their respective chambers to hear Governor Little deliver his annual State of the State address remotely this year.


The Governor called for a moment of silence for the citizens and healthcare workers greatly affected by COVID-19 last year. Governor Little outlined his plan for the coming year and addressed how COVID-19 has impacted the lives of Idahoans, industry growth and technological advances. 


This year the Idaho legislature, alongside the Governor, allocated over $300 million to small businesses, licensed over 1,000 new nursing professionals, and lowered unemployment insurance taxes for nearly all Idaho businesses. 


Education in 2021 remains a top priority for Governor Little. “We all play a role in choosing to protect lives, our economy and our kids’ ability to continue learning in their classrooms,” stated the Governor. “It is a responsibility shared by all of us.” Idaho took a lead to allow businesses and public places of worship to remain open during the pandemic compared to many other states.


In addition, the pandemic ushered in the need for improved technology, and Idahoans witnessed an unprecedented increase in telehealth services. As Idahoans received medical attention from their homes, telehealth services increased by 4,000 percent. 


Governor Little outlined a $126 million transportation plan, focusing on expanding infrastructure and alleviating traffic congestion as Idaho continues to grow and expand from an influx of Americans desiring the Idaho lifestyle, business incentives and career opportunities the state has to offer. 


Among the featured topics from the Governor’s speech included mention of the $60 million in strategic investment toward water resources and his unwavering support for Idaho's Police Force, reinforcing that "Idaho defends the police, Idaho backs the blue".


Click here to listen to the Governor's full State of the State address.

The Idaho Fraternal Order of Police welcome freshmen legislators

This week at the Capitol, the Idaho Fraternal Order of Police hosted a lunch welcoming new legislators beginning their first term. Six new Senators and eighteen new Representatives joined the ranks of the 2021 Idaho Legislative Session. 


In the Senate are Senators Kevin Cook (District 30), Ali Rabe (District 17), Doug Ricks (District 34), Peter Riggs (District 3), Melissa Wintrow (District 19), and Christy Zito (District 23).



In the House are Representatives Ben Adams (District 13), Matthew Bundy (District 23), David Cannon (District 31), Marco Erickson (District 33), Greg Ferch (District 21), Codi Galloway (District 15), Karey Hanks (District 35), Dustin Manwaring (District 29), Chris Mathias (District 19), Brandon Mitchell (District 5), Colin Nash (District 16), Ron Nate (District 34), Doug Okuniewicz (District 2), James Ruchti (District 29), Charlie Shepherd (District 7), Bruce Skaug (District 12), Jon Weber (District 34), and Julie Yamamoto (District 10). 

2021 Idaho Legislative Session available online


The official website of the Idaho Legislature provides Idahoans access to the agendas and itineraries of Idaho’s 2021 Legislative Session. In addition to Idaho’s Legislature being open to the public at the Capitol in Boise, there is also the option to livestream sessions of the House and Senate Chambers as well as listen to the audio recordings of committee hearings. The Idaho Legislative Media Archive also provides the opportunity to review passed sessions, hearings and meetings.    


Idaho's strong economy shown in national rankings for 2020


According to the Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS) index, Idaho ranks #1 for economic momentum out of all fifty states. 


Idaho is listed 1st in the nation for financial solvency according to Barron's Report. 


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Idaho ranks 12th in the nation for best employment rates. 


The Governor's Office reported that Idaho ranks third for investment into broadband infrastructure under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It also announced that Idaho ranks in the top ten for rainy day fund balances.