The following Press Release was sent out by Gov. Brad Little. Note: Press Releases sent out by elected officials do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Boise, Idaho – At a teacher appreciation rally at Melba Elementary School this morning, Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 443 into law, his “Leading Idaho” teacher health insurance bill that seeks to extend better health insurance benefits to teachers across Idaho.
“This investment means Idaho’s teachers will be able to access better health benefits to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy. It means teachers will be able to keep more of what they earn,” Governor Little said.
The bill creates a fund for school districts that voluntarily choose to join the state’s health plan, and it puts the state on a path to increase the state’s ongoing contribution for teacher health insurance premiums by approximately $4,000 per teacher, ensuring school districts have the resources necessary to expand family coverage and lower out-of-pocket costs for teachers.
“I want to thank my partners in the Legislature for passing this important bill. They acknowledge the important role teachers play in partnering with parents and families in the education of our children – our future workforce,” Governor Little added.
The bill was led by Representatives Rod Furniss and Wendy Horman and Senator Jim Woodward, and co-sponsored by more than 40 additional legislators. The bill received strong support from Idaho education stakeholders.
Governor Little’s Leading Idaho plan also includes up to 10-percent pay increases for Idaho teachers and $1,000 bonuses.
“We cannot meet our commitment to students without supporting the people who teach them in the classroom. If you’re running a business, you know you can only attract and retain dedicated, quality workers by paying them competitively, offering good benefits, and making them feel valued. Our educator workforce is no different,” Governor Little said.
Governor Little will participate in additional teacher appreciation rallies this week in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, and Twin Falls.