October 17, 2018

January 23rd Newsletter


January 23rd Newsletter

We’re off to the races! The 2015 legislative session kicked off last week, and it promises to be an eventful session. Please mark your calendar for our upcoming town hall meetings. Last year’s gatherings were so lively and well-attended that Senator Ward-Engelking, Representative Phylis King and I are adding two additional forums:

  • February 3 – Hawthorne Elementary (2401 W. Targee St.)
  • February 12 – East Jr. High (5600 Warm Springs Ave.)
  • February 24 – Maple Grove Elementary (2800 S. Maple Grove Rd.)
  • March 3 – Les Bois Jr. High (4150 East Grand Forest Dr.)
  • March 12 – Timberline High (701 E Boise Ave.)

All are scheduled for 7-8:30 pm. Please come to any or all!  Also, I have revised my online survey to reflect what’s on deck this year – some questions will look familiar and some are new. Please check it out here and let me know your views.

And now for the report on legislative happenings. We started the session with the Governor’s State of the State address. I appreciated his emphasis on better funding for public schools and restoration of Idaho’s deteriorating infrastructure – hopefully we can finally make significant progress in both these areas. Governor Otter also left the door open to accepting federal Medicaid funds, which could lead to health care coverage for 104,000 currently uninsured Idahoans. I have concerns, however, about other priorities he mentioned, including ongoing expenditures to fight recognition of same-sex marriage. Last week Idaho taxpayers paid out $457,000 in legal fees for this losing endeavor, and the costs will only mount further. I would rather see your tax dollars spent in more constructive ways.

Two bills were introduced in the first week. The first, HB 1, was launched by District 18’s very own Ilah Hickman, an 8th grader at Les Bois Jr. High, seeking to make the Idaho Giant Salamander our state’s official amphibian. This impressive young lady has been working on this issue for 5 years and she did a phenomenal job presenting her research (and a live salamander) to the State Affairs Committee. Unfortunately, the bill was voted down, but Ilah says she’ll be back.  What a stellar example she has set for our kids!

The second bill introduced, HB 2 (“Add the Words”), would update Idaho’s Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This Human Rights Act has been in effect for 46 years, ensuring that Idahoans cannot be fired or denied housing on the basis of race, gender, age, disability, national origin or religion. The proposed amendment would provide that Idahoans also cannot be fired or denied housing because they are gay or transgender. The hearing is set for 8 am on Monday January 26 in the Lincoln Auditorium, and the public is welcome to attend and present testimony.

On the Education Committee, we are focused on implementing the Governor’s Task Force recommendations, with plans to boost teacher pay and improve strategic planning. I have been working on other legislation as well, including an anti-bullying bill and a bill to tighten penalties for animal cruelty. Idaho was just ranked 49th in the nation for its animal welfare protections, and continues to have a high teen suicide rate – problems these bills are designed to address.

I hope to see you at one of our upcoming town halls, and I thank you again for the honor of representing you at the Statehouse.

Warm regards,

Representative Ilana Rubel

Earth Day Is In The Bag


Earth Day is in the Bag – A Free Bag!


Dear friends and neighbors –

Did you know that plastic bags take over 500 years to biodegrade? That’s why I decided to try something a little different to spread the word about my election campaign.  Instead of pins or T-shirts, I’m going with locally sourced, reusable grocery bags. The first 500 District 18ers to request one at this link will get a free “Ilana Rubel for District 18A” reusable bag. These bags are not only Earth-friendly, but they’re stronger and less likely to tear than plastic, so your groceries won’t end up on the parking lot pavement.  

Help me spread the pro-conservation message of my campaign, I’ll help improve your grocery-shopping experience, and together we can help keep Idaho clean and beautiful.

Happy Earth Day!

Representative Ilana Rubel

“Representative Rubel is one of conservation’s greatest friends in the Idaho Legislature. She has been a consistent voice to keep Idaho’s water clean and protect our public lands.” 

– John T. Reuter,
Executive Director Conservation Voters for Idaho


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End of Session Newsletter


End of Session Newsletter


Dear friends and neighbors,Now that we’ve adjourned this session of the Idaho Legislature, I want to thank you for the privilege of representing District 18. I’ve been bowled over by the energy and wisdom of our constituents; every day I receive thoughtful messages on every issue, and I have greatly enjoyed meeting so many of you at our town halls. I will be running to keep my seat this November, and I hope to have many more opportunities to work with you going forward.  Please follow these links if you’re interested in volunteering or contributing to my campaign.

You all undoubtedly are aware that Idaho is not where it should be on many measures. We are 50th in the nation on education investment, household income and percentage of kids that go to college. We are losing businesses that would provide top-paying jobs simply because those companies do not believe Idaho can supply a well-trained workforce.  Accordingly, my top priority in coming to the Legislature was to improve our schools, and that remains my top goal.  On the Education Committee, I co-sponsored legislation providing nearly $16 million in premium pay for teachers, and supported bills to provide an across-the-board raise for teachers, professional training, funding to support the effective roll-out of the Idaho Core standards, and strategic development by schools boards.  Unfortunately, too much of the Legislature’s time and energy this session was taken up by divisive legislation like the Ag-Gag and Guns on Campus laws. I hope that in the future we can focus on passing laws that improve schools, health care, air and water quality, and that build a stronger economy for all Idahoans. I am now working on draft legislation to boost our schools and our technology sector that I’d like to introduce next session if I am fortunate enough to be voted back into office, and I welcome your ideas.

Given that Democrats only comprise 19% of the Legislature, I soon realized that it would be critical to forge relationships across the aisle in order to pass productive, reasonable legislation to help Idahoans. Every week of the session I took a different Republican legislator out to lunch, and have developed quite a few friendships with majority-party legislators that have expressed eagerness to work together in the future. I also met with the PTA or PTO of nearly every school in District 18 to get a first-hand report on our schools from parents and teachers. Thank you all for taking the time to speak with me – it was extremely informative.

Finally, in case you’re curious about the views of your fellow District 18ers, you can see the results of my recent online survey in the box on the right. Thanks to those who took the time to complete this – it is so helpful to have direct voter input on the issues we’re addressing.  The survey is still posted if you want to weigh in. In a couple of months I’ll post one with new questions. 

If you wish to contact me during the legislative off-season, you may reach me through my website or by email at ilana@rubelforidaho.com, or leave me a message at (208) 332-1034.  I also post more frequent updates on Facebook, so come “Like” my page.

Warm regards,

Representative Ilana Rubel

Idaho House of Representatives – District 18A

Representative Ilana Rubel

Survey Results

Do you support the “Guns on Campus” bill (SB 1254) requiring that concealed firearms be allowed on college campuses?  

88% No; 11% Yes; 1% Not sure

Do you support the “Ag-gag” bill (SB 1337) to criminalize the unauthorized videotaping and publicizing of animal abuse at agricultural operations?88% No; 8% Yes; 4% Not sure

Do you support increasing pay for our public school teachers?  

89% Yes; 6% No; 5% Not sure

Do you support a public pre-kindergarten option?

76% Yes; 17% No; 7% Not sure

Do you support implementation of Idaho Core standards in our public schools?

52% Yes; 16% No; 32% Not sure

Do you support banning discrimination against individuals in employment and housing on the basis of their sexual orientation?

81% Yes; 14% No; 5% Not sure

Do you support Medicaid expansion?  

77% Yes; 15% No; 8% Not sure

Do you support raising the minimum wage in Idaho?

84% Yes; 11%; 5% Not sure

Of those in favor of a higher minimum wage, the breakdown on preferred minimum wage level was as follows:

57% – $10.00; 20% – $9.50; 18% – $9.00; 4% – $8.50 and 1% – $8.00


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March 17, 2014 Newsletter

March 17, 2014 Newsletter

March 3, 2014 Newsletter

March 3, 2014 Newsletter

Dist. 18 Town Hall Meeting March 18

7 – 8:30 pm on March 18 at East Junior High library
Meet with your legislators – Representative Ilana Rubel, Representative Phylis King and Senator Janie Ward-Engelking. We will have a lively and informative discussion of what’s happening at the Capitol, and we want to hear your views.

February 17, 2014 Newsletter


February 3, 2014 Newsletter

February 3 Newsletter

January 20, 2014 Newsletter

January 20 newsletter

District 18 Forums

Meet with your District 18 legislators and share your views.  We had terrific meetings with our constituents at our town halls at Maple Grove Elementary on January 28 and at Timberline High on February 18.  We had more than 100 attendees at Timberline!  Thank you to all who came out and shared their views.  We have one more town hall during the Legislative session:

Tuesday, March 18, 7 p.m. – East Junior High Library

(Town Hall meetings should end around 8:30 p.m.)