to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
I am writing to thank all of you who voted in the Supreme Court race
and especially those of you who voted for me. I enjoyed visiting
all of our beautiful and diverse state and meeting many of you while I
was in your area. I learned that we share many concerns, especially
in the rural counties. As a district judge in three very rural counties,
I want you to know that I share your frustration.
The rural counties need mental health and drug courts located in the
counties where the mentally ill and addicted people live. Requiring
them to travel to a city for treatment usually means they get no treatment
at all. A schizophrenic in Bonners Ferry or Homedale or Preston is
just as sick and in need of treatment as those who live in Coeur d’Alene,
Boise or Pocatello. The rural counties also need continuous and effective
probation supervision since the probationer’s success often depends on
it. We all win if they succeed. And finally, the rural counties
need district judges in their courtrooms on a frequent and regular basis.
While the populations are not as large, their needs are as important to
them as they are to the people in the more populated counties.
I know these reforms are possible because I have implemented them in
my counties despite repeated opposition by the Supreme Court. I hope
the closeness of the election will send a message to those justices who
can make a difference. If it does not, it will be up to us to replace
those who could have made a difference and did not.
To the Editor
On June 24, 2008, the US House passed HR 6331, the Medicare Improvements
for Patients and Providers Act. The bill amends the Social Security
Act by: 1) extending expiring provisions under the Medicare Program, 2)
improving beneficiary access to preventive and mental health services,
3) enhancing low-income benefit programs, and 4) maintaining access to
care in rural areas, including pharmacy access. The vote was 355
– 59. Rep. Sali joined 58 other Republicans to vote no with the minority.
Based on this single vote, no Idahoan of baby-boomer age or older should
even consider giving Sali a 2nd term.
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