The Spokesman-Review

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Idaho stuck in time

On an almost weekly basis, Idaho gets a black eye.

A few weeks ago, it became known that Idaho ranks 49th in per capita income, 48th in education state funding and second in the highest percentage of minimum-wage jobs. This past week, we read that Idaho has no limits on predatory payday loans, and that Idaho leads the nation with an average annual interest rate of 582 percent for such loans. Idaho lawmakers should be embarrassed about that.

On April 26, the Associated Press reported that a same-sex couple, both honorably discharged veterans, cannot be buried together in an Idaho state veterans cemetery without a valid marriage certificate. They could get buried together in the National Cemetery in Arlington.

According to the deputy administrator of the Idaho Division of Veterans Services, the Idaho Constitution does not allow the state veterans cemetery to recognize a same-sex marriage for burial rights. How ridiculous does it get?

Since the current Idaho Legislature keeps our state in the dark ages, it is time this fall for Idaho voters to shed this image of a backward state and enter the 21st century.

Juergen Nolthenius

Coeur d’Alene



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