Freda Cenarrusa

{span}Freda Cenarrusa{/span}

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For some of us, it is with frustration, angst and sadness that our elected leaders in the Idaho Legislature feel a need to spend $10.5 million to rip up the first floor of the Capitol to build private offices for those who currently work in a cubicle. The Governor has recently ordered cuts in higher education and other government agencies, making the remodel a frivolous expense. And to get the space to expand, they have filed a lawsuit to take over the State Treasure’s Office which has been in the same location since the Capitol was built. How much more will that cost? Legislators are trying to justify this expense by saying they need privacy when dealing with constituents.

What are these legislators thinking? Certainly we have more pressing needs than spending $10.5 million on private offices, used three months of the year by part-time legislators. When Pete was Speaker of the House, they didn’t have underground wings and their work desks were on the floor of the House. They were easily accessible to the constituents through the Sergeant of Arms and each Representative had a desk and phone. Now, it is hard to find your legislators between committee meetings and their cubicles behind locked doors.

Legislators, who for almost 100 years, were able to effectively work from a desk on the floor to effectively serve their constituents. Systematically creating laws to remove the Treasurer from the Capitol, and creating private offices with additional staff, may be a step closer to what we all fear

could happen, a full-time legislature.

Contact your legislators and tell them to stop wasting our money on a lawsuit against the Treasurer and to stop any efforts to build private offices. Call Legislative Services at 208-334-2475 to contact your legislators.

Mrs. Cenarrusa attended Albion Normal School. She was a partner with her husband running a sheep business for fifty years. She was active in the Basque community along with her husband, traveling to several countries in support of the Basque diaspora. She traveled the state of Idaho supporting her husband during his time as State Representative for 19 years with three terms as Speaker of the House and then as Secretary of State from 1967 – 2003. She has been active in community and church affairs, as well as political events throughout the state.