PRESS RELEASE March 8th 2008 Information: Nicole LeFavour 724-0468
LEFAVOUR TO RUN FOR STATE SENATE
Following Senator Mike Burkett's announcement that he will be retiring as State Senator from District 19, Representative Nicole LeFavour announced Saturday her intent to run for Legislative District 19's State Senate seat.
LeFavour was elected in 2004 and has served two terms in the district. She has been a visible member of the House Revenue and Taxation committee where she has led efforts to stop shifts in taxation from Idaho's largest businesses to Idaho families and small businesses. She has also worked for greater tax accountability for economic development incentives to ensure that Idaho does not give away tax dollars to corporations without some guarantee of state economic gain from strong jobs with good wages and health care benefits.
An educator who for seven years taught writing to at risk sixth graders and teens in Boise public schools, in 2007 LeFavour successfully led efforts to pass legislation offering teen mental health and substance abuse specialist to Idaho's rural high schools and Jr. highs to help parents address teen suicide, alcohol use, depression, addiction and other urgent issues faced by Idaho teens.
In 2005, in LeFavour's first term in the legislature, she was a key member of a small bipartisan group which, after almost a decade of previous efforts, successfully passed legislation which included mental heath coverage in health care coverage for State Employees. The 2005 mental health parity bill created a pilot project to look at the cost and benefits of requiring Mental Health coverage as part of health insurance statewide. In 2008 she received Idaho State Planning Council on Mental Health legislative leader award in recognition of her work on mental health issues, including her work as part of Governor Kempthorn's Transformational Working Group on Mental Health in 2006.
LeFavour is well known for her work on prison sentencing issues and her role on the Judiciary and Rules committee where this year she led a bi partisan group of moderate and conservative legislators in efforts to address public safety and prison over crowding by creating a treatment focused alternative to mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
LeFavour has also worked this session with Senator David Langhorst to try to introduce legislative revisions of Idaho's land use planning act to improve Idaho's impact fee statutes to lower property taxes by making it easier for local governments to make growth pay for itself.
LeFavour's long history of Human Rights work in the legislature included co-sponsorship of legislation affecting people with disabilities; efforts at requiring Idaho's Public Employee Retriremnt System to divest from Darfur; and this year's introduction of legislation to add gays and lesbians to Idaho's Human Rights act provisions to end discrimination in employment, housing and education. LeFavour also serves as a member of the Commission on Hispanic Affairs and has been an out spoken advocate for respect for Idaho's Latino and Hispanic community.
In 2006 LeFavour was chosen, with 50 other legislators across the nation to attend the University of Virginia's Darden Emerging Leaders program.
Said LeFavour Saturday, "I will be sad to leave behind so many friends in the House. It is an intense place where we bond often while looking for lighter moments; across party lines, ages and ideologies. But I will say that I look forward to new experiences and to joining some close friends and frequent co-sponsors from both parties in the Senate. In the House I leave behind much work I have begun with members of three fantastic committees. I will especially miss the Revenue and Taxation Committee because I feel that the work there is so vital to ensuring fairness in the lives of Idaho families. My colleagues know me and know I will be hard at it, continuing to work with Republican and Democratic Senators to make positive improvements to legislation affecting the taxes paid by middle class people and small businesses all across Idaho."