Representative Matthew Bundy - District 23

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Idaho State Legislture

January 29, 2021

Representative Matthew Bundy - District 23


Dear Friends,


The picture today is me by my desk, inside one of my committee rooms. In the Joint Appropriations and Finance Committee meeting, we were briefed on Health Education Programs that are directly benefiting graduates from our high schools and Universities. A few years ago, three Mountain Home graduates were accepted in the same year to study Medicine in a combined program with the University of Idaho and the University of Washington Medical School. They are all graduated from med school and are currently in residency programs. We also have one student currently studying Dentistry in a program using the combined resources of Idaho State University and Creighton University, and I just learned of another student that will be entering the Dental program this fall. I am sure there are students from other high schools in District 23 that have participated in these programs, and I am reaching out to educators to find out about them also. 


Later in the week we started on the budget process for K-12 schools. I will be able to bring you updates about that process in future newsletters. There is so much going on in government and we will deal with those big issues. I want you to also know we are taking care of the business of the people. We are ensuring that the government remains productive and provides Idahoans with needed services and support. 



Matthew Bundy


Matthew Bundy

State House: (208) 332-1181 (Session Only)



Local Government

Recognizing the USS Idaho


A new bill recognizes the significance of the United States Navy naming a ship after the Great State of Idaho. House Concurrent Resolution 3 was printed and will be heard in the Transportation & Defense Committee. The fast attack nuclear submarine is the 5th ship to be named the USS Idaho and the first ship in over 100 years to be named such. Idaho has strong ties to the submarine community of the U.S. Navy. INL was the training ground for the first nuclear submarines and Bayview, in Northern Idaho, has contributed greatly to the development of submarine design. The submarine is scheduled for commissioning in 2023.

48th Annual Boise March for Life 


Right to Life for Idaho hosted their 48th Annual Boise March for Life on January 23rd. The yearly march, hosted by the oldest pro-life organization in the state, was scheduled to coincide closely with the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision on January 22nd. Intended as a celebration of life, hundreds joined together to walk from Julia Davis Park to the Capitol building and listen to speakers share their personal stories of why they became pro-life and how it has affected them. Among the attendees were several legislators.

Idaho Potato Commission presents its 2020 report


The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee was pleased this week to welcome a presentation from the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) featuring their annual report for 2020/2021, which included challenges faced in 2020 and pandemic impacts.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, Idaho potatoes were deemed the most economic food with sales going off the charts as families stocked up during those uncertain times. Forty million pounds of potatoes made their way on and off store shelves through retail sales alone, making potatoes the third-most coveted item behind toilet paper and hand sanitizer. By the end of 2020, the IPC hit a record revenue and added over $46,000 to their reserves. 


They also shared their marketing program built to meet their main marketing goals: to stimulate demand for all Idaho potato-branded products both domestically and internationally; to teach consumers that Idaho potatoes are nutritious; heart-healthy, and relevant for today’s lifestyles, to build consumer loyalty; and to increase grower understanding and support for the IPC.

Wrongful Conviction Act heads to Senate Floor

For the second time, the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee passed the Idaho Wrongful Conviction Act unanimously out of committee. Senate Bill 1027, sponsored by Senator Ricks, would provide compensation for those who are exonerated after a wrongful conviction. Compensation is limited to only those who are truly innocent, but yet were still convicted and forced into prison against their will. The conditions for eligibility are very narrowly written and currently only six past exonerees have been identified as qualifying and it’s open for future exonerees. 


Last year, the original Wrongful Conviction Act also passed the Senate unanimously but was vetoed by the Governor after the legislature adjourned. After working with the Governor’s office to address minor concerns, the bill sponsor, Senator Doug Ricks from Rexburg, said the updated bill has some improvements, and the emergency clause will make it effective when the Governor signs it.  Past exonerees will have two years to file a claim, and any future eligible exoneree will have two years from the date of their exoneration to file. 


The Senate committee heard emotional testimony of Christopher Tapp, the inspiration for the bill. Tapp served 20 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted for the rape and murder of Angie Dodge in 1998. With help from the Idaho Innocence Project, Tapp was ultimately exonerated when DNA evidence matched Dodge’s neighbor Brian Leigh Dripps to the DNA found at the crime scene.


“Being in prison is as horrible as you can imagine, and being there when you are innocent is that much worse. I missed out on 20 years of my life. I wasn’t able to spend my father’s last years with him or go to his funeral when he passed. … I was released with no more than the clothes on my back, left completely relying on family and friends to help me while I tried to rebuild my life.” Tapp told the committee.


The revised bill now heads to the Senate floor.

Universities gather from across the state


This week in the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC), House Education Committee, and Senate Education Committee, colleges and universities around the state shared how 2021 is a launchpad promoting academic success. 


  • Boise State University boasted that 64% of their alumni choose to stay, live, and work in the Treasure Valley. 
  • Idaho State University has an 89% Idaho Resident student base and $15.8 million in scholarships awarded annually. 
  • Lewis and Clark State College had an increase of 10% in their graduating class size in the last 3 years and a remarkable 82% of graduates being able to pay back debt fully within 5 years of graduation. 
  • The University of Idaho has a $1.1 billion annual benefit to the State of Idaho as well as being ranked #1 by the U.S News and World Report as the Best Value Public University.

SJR101 debated by the public 


Courtesy of the Post Register