Gov. Butch Otter is expected to announce this morning that Idaho Falls will be the first city in the state to receive a new Behavioral Health Community Crisis Center. Some North Idaho lawmakers believe that Coeur d'Alene was the frontrunner in a three-way competition for the facility, but lost because the Kootenai County legislative delegation was split in its support for the facility. Earlier this year, the Legislature approved the construction of three Behavior Health Community Crisis Centers in Idaho, but will only fund one center per year. The Legislature appropriated $2.1 million to fund the center and asked three communities to compete for the first center. Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, said he supported the project because he knows the drag that mental health issues have on communities. As a former prosecutor, a sitting legislator and from his role with Heritage Health, Malek knows firsthand what a facility like that would have meant to the community/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Opposition from Tea-publican legislators Nonini, Mendive, Barbieri and Sims may have cost Coeur d'Alene an opportunity to get this center. Thoughts?