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Conservative politicians make big claims about stopping “wokeness,” but few are willing to put the money where their mouths are. And it’s your money

Sen. Scott Herndon made an audacious motion in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee to save nearly $5 million in taxpayer dollars that currently supports woke personnel at four Idaho colleges and universities. Boise State University, University of Idaho, Idaho State University, and Lewis-Clark State College spend $4.8 million on 57 full-time employees devoted to “social justice;” “diversity, equity, and inclusion;” and other Marxist buzzwords.

For example, BSU wants to pay $100,000 to a “Vice Provost of Inclusion and Belonging.” UI pays $149,032 to the Chief Diversity Officer and Executive Director of Tribal Relations. ISU pays $121,636 to the Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion. There are many more. In all, these employees receive nearly $5 million in salary and benefits. All of this is extracted from Idaho taxpayers and students.

Voting for Sen. Herndon’s motion to eliminate these positions were Sens. Carl Bjerke and Ben Adams, along with Reps. Josh Tanner, Tina Lambert, and Clay Handy.

Voting against the motion (and for unbridled wokeness) were the remaining members of the committee: Co-chair C. Scott Grow, co-chair Wendy Horman, Sens. Van Burtenshaw, Dave Lent, Julie VanOrden, Janie Ward-Engelking, and Jim Just, along with Reps. Steve Miller, Matt Bundy, Britt Raybould, Rod Furniss, James Petzke, and Colin Nash.

A follow-up motion to instruct the colleges and universities to verify that no state-appropriated funds are used to support social justice ideologies passed on a party line vote. However, that directive has no teeth because nearly 60% of the combined budgets of the four schools is not appropriated and is not subject to the directive. The universities ignored a similar directive issued in 2021. No one believes this one will do anything.

Idaho lawmakers are too weak to end wokeism in our colleges, universities, and K-12 education systems. Idaho citizens need to step up, demand change, and oust cowardly legislators. The Idaho Freedom Foundation is committed to arming you with the information and data needed to fight this cancer in our universities. We need your help to continue to shine the light on the indoctrination of our young people. Please consider supporting our work today.

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