January 30, 2017
Writer: Mackenzie Holbrook
The 2017 Idaho Legislative Session has been in progress for about three weeks now, and the House of Representatives and Senate are working hard to make Idaho a better state.
Democratic Minority Leader Representative Mat Erpelding spoke with BYU-Idaho Radio about what he's doing this session and the legislation he's trying to pass.
He said his main concern right now to pass a plan for a balanced budget.
"We have money available to pay off our debts," Representative Erpelding said. "I would advocate that we get our books in order before we do anything else."
He talked about paying off a roughly $30 million loan on the maximum security prison, which costs the state a minimum of $4 million a year.
Representative Erpelding also spoke about a loan-forgiveness program for math and science teachers in public schools in rural areas because it's so difficult to find qualified teachers to teach in those schools.
"It's really challenging in some of these areas to recruit the high quality teachers when they could go to a district that has more resources," Representative Erpelding said.
Click below to listen to the full interview.