April was a big month for Idaho Senate President Pro Tempore Brent Hill. The 2019 legislative session closed and he went on a trip to Vietnam.

Idaho’s session closed on April 11, 2019. Hill believes a lot of good came from it.

One of the things Hill was most pleased with was the public education budget. It increased for the fifth year in a row by more than $100 million.

He is also in the process of helping teachers in the next two years get a starting salary of $40,000.

“That will possibly help in attracting people into their profession more and getting people more incentive and ability to support their families while they’re trying to educate our children,” Hill said.

He said Idaho is one of the fastest growing states in the nation, in regards to population, and we have one of the best economies.

One disappointment Hill had from the legislative session was not being able to implement a new funding formula for public education systems.

“The funds that come from the state to the various school districts, what’s the best way to reimburse those schools districts for their costs,” Hill said.

Not only was Hill recently involved in the state legislative session, he also had the opportunity to visit Vietnam last month.

As a child, Hill never imagined himself going to Vietnam for peaceful purposes. However, last month he was invited to go to Vietnam on a medical expedition with his son who is a surgeon.

Hill, along with some family members and medical service providers, participated in service projects provided through a company called Globe Aware. They helped build a new brick home for an elderly women and got to work at a school for deaf children.

Hill shared the heartwarming experience he had when he helped pass out toys to the children. They were not fighting over the toys, rather they were helping pass out the toys to their peers.

“It was just tender to see these kids really had come to rely upon each other and to take care of each other,” Hill said.

Hill said his trip helped him appreciate the United States even more. His experience in Vietnam brought feelings of admiration, gratitude and appreciation.

“As you go through those experiences, you love a little deeper, you’re grateful a little more often and you appreciate the freedoms that you enjoy,” Hill said. “What comes with those freedoms are opportunities, and the opportunities here surpass what you find almost anywhere else.”

We have a yearning to serve and be loved, Hill said.

“Whatever country you go to, whatever culture, whatever people, there are good people wherever you go and that’s a blessing that God’s given us throughout this whole earth,” Hill said.