I stand for education
I fight so that our kids can receive a well-rounded education that will help them to think critically. Education means everything to our kids and our future. I fight to make higher education affordable. I'll continue to fight against the bloated bureaucratic growth and the excessive spending on "social programs" and campus adornments that do not prepare our kids for a successful future in an ever-challenging world.
I have continued to stand with our fantastic teachers in supporting increased wages and money for state level insurance. Listed below are examples of a few of the legislative appropriations that I supported in education during the 2022 session:
· Supported the special session as an early co-signer that allocated $410 million dollars for education.
· Allocate 11% increase to K-12 education funding.
· Allocate $180 million for additional teacher health care coverage to match state employee benefits.
· Allocate $104 million or 10% increases for teachers’ pay on the career ladder.
· Allocate 7% pay increases for administration
· Allocate $50 million for Empowering Parents grants to help cover costs for many families.
· Over $1.2 billion provided in tax relief – the largest in Idaho history (S1359 & H436 & H1 co-sponsor)
· Created a new dyslexia program designed to reach and help over 20% of our kids that are often improperly diagnosed. This is expected to drastically improve our children’s education.
· Advisory Curriculum Committees to the trustees are now required, half must include parents.
· H666 to HR 23 – Harmful material in libraries – co-sponsored – we can’t tolerate pornography / sex acts directed at children; an interim committee w/Library Commission was created to address this.
I stand for our Kids
I love kids! I have worked with our youth all of my life. I want to see our kids grow and flourish in a community that values them. Kids need to be free to grow and learn in a safe environment that lifts them up rather than tearing them down. I will continue to work to make them feel safe, valued and free of abuse and exploitation. When I work with our kids, I also teach them skill sets that include leadership, conflict resolution, confidence and determination to achieve success.
I sponsored HCR2 during 2021. This reversed the state order that prevented gatherings of more than 10 and opened up the entire state, including for high school sports & activities. This led to the Governor opening the state back up, allowing for families to again attend athletic events and support their kids.
I Stand for life
Human Life is sacred and should always be protected. I have always stood and fought to save the lives of our preborn children. I have supported every single piece of prolife legislation. In 2022, I was a House sponsor for S1309, Idaho’s Heartbeat bill, which is one of the most significant pieces of prolife legislation passed and signed into law. This legislation protects the unborn by halting all abortions after a heartbeat is detected at 6-weeks. This legislation protects the mother’s life. It also allows for exceptions with the rare occurrence of rape and incest.
“Idaho Chooses Life is proud to endorse Representative Barbara Ehardt for re-election to the Idaho House. Not only does she have a stellar pro-Life record, she has demonstrated great courage in tackling some of the toughest issues threatening our children. We must do more to protect these little ones from the dark agenda of Planned Parenthood and their partners. We look forward to working with Barbara in the next Legislature to make Idaho a safer place for our children.” David Ripley, April 8, 2022
Kerry Uhlenkott, Director of Right to Life of Idaho, said about Barbara: "You did an amazing job today during debate for Abortion Pill Reversal. Thank you so very much for being such a strong voice for the voiceless!"
I Stand for WOMEN
As a female athlete, and as coach to thousands of female athletes, I could see that the future of women's sports was in jeopardy. So I took bold action: I authored, sponsored, carried and passed the very first "Fairness in Women's Sports Act", which banned biological men from invading and dominating women in sports.
This bold action began a nation-wide movement to stand up for female athletes and their right to compete.
Since passing this bill in Idaho a short time ago, I have helped 18 states (so far) all across the Country to pass similar legislation to protect women's rights in sports.
This past June 23, 2022, I flew back to Washington DC for the 50th anniversary celebration of Title IX. It was an amazing event as I was able to speak and visit with so many people from fantastic organizations from across this country that has been there to help with my “Fairness in Sports Act” legislation throughout the States. Former Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard also participated. It was fun for me to visit with her. I let her know that our Republican party was open to her joining us! But my highlight of that trip was being invited by our upcoming House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Congressman Jim Banks to participate on (not just testify in front of) a special Congressional hearing concerning Title IX on its 50th anniversary. Without a doubt, this was a highlight of my political career. I sat at the panel with other Congressmen, including the aforementioned, Utah Congressman Burgess Owens, Florida Congresswomen Kat Cammack, New York Congresswomen Claudia Tenney, and others.
While there I was able to meet with our Congressional Delegation. Joining me was our Idaho athletes who have joined the lawsuit in supporting the Fairness for Women’s Sports Act. These gals had to run against a biological male, June Eastwood, who annihilated our women. We were also joined by the three Connecticut gals who inspired my legislation as well as members of our pro family, pro religious freedom groups. Everyone also joined me as we then went to meet with Senator Marsha Blackburn – ‘what is a woman?’ Overall, these were fantastic and productive meetings. Please remember that this legislation is important on so many levels that go beyond sports. As the left tries to redefine what a woman is, they are also refining what a mother is and our role in the family. This fight is important on so many levels and that, my friends, is why I am engaged in the fight.
I stand for freedom of Speech and Religion
Our Declaration of Independence declares that our rights are inalienable, or that they come from God, not man. Our Founders understood this and made it a point to include our freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to peacefully assemble. You cannot have one without the others. I have ALWAYS stood to protect these rights.
I have also brought legislation to protect these rights. H364 – Campus Free Speech – protects a student’s free speech rights on the college campuses. This legislation prevents Universities from creating speech zones or selectively allowing only certain speakers on campus to be heard. Democrat Representative John McCrostie sponsored this with me. Unfortunately, we ran out of time on the Senate side but we will be bringing this back.
I stand for Clean, reliable & renewable
All my life, I have supported our INL and their pursuit of innovation, nuclear energy and small modular reactors. I have also been incredibly supportive of our water resources throughout Idaho and especially the hydro power here in Idaho Falls.
See the legislation I authored here:
I stand for the
Gun Owners of America – just received their endorsement, October 2022.
NRA - Solid "A" rating as one who is a pro-gun/pro-hunting advocate and stands strongly for the right to keep and bear arms.
ISAA - Responded with 100% pro-gun answers to the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance survey.
I stand for Better Healthcare options
The fight for better healthcare for everyone is ongoing. We need to take a more innovative approach to customizing our health insurance plans according to our needs.
Just as we customize our home and car insurance, we should be able to do the same for health insurance. Increased personalized health insurance options will make rates more competitive and patient-friendly, which will lead to decreased insurance premiums.
Currently, only "in network" doctors can be used (which is silly!). All doctors, especially our own doctor, should be accessible.
Medical procedures, whether from hospitals or doctors, should be honest and transparent up front. We have a right to see what each exam and procedure will cost before we receive the health services.
These three simple changes will dramatically improve the quality of our healthcare and lower our healthcare costs.
I stand for Idaho's agriculture & natural resources
I come from a farming family, and Idaho is an agriculture state. I have always supported our Idaho farmers and the use of our natural resources - such as water - to make this happen. That is why I have received the following awards and endorsements: