As the Idaho Republican Central Committee considers stripping young members of voting powers on the party’s executive board, one Republican legislator has taken his party’s attitude on youth input a step further.

Last week, Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa, banned testimony in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee from people younger than 18 except by his invitation. When asked, Skaug stated that the opinions of high school students on legislative matters are inferior to those of adults who might sign up for testimony. As student leaders across the state, we are appalled by Chairman Skaug’s rejection of the democratic traditions that our country was built upon.

The ability for all constituents to have a say in the legislative process, regardless of age, is essential for a functioning democracy. As citizens, constituents, taxpayers, and the future leaders of Idaho, our voices deserve to be heard.

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