Dori Healey knew she wanted to be a state legislator since high school when she served as a page in the Idaho State Legislature. Pages prepare materials, set up the hearing room, sign in guests who wish to testify, provide technical support and deliver messages for members of the Senate and House of Representatives during the legislative session.
Healey was elected to the House of Representatives in 2022. One of the highlights for her has been learning the inner workings of the legislature.
“I came in with a general understanding, but it has been such an honor to work with all the great people in the Capitol and learn how to navigate the inner workings,” Healey said.
Healey helped sponsor six bills that have become law, including HB 213, which focused on rural nurse loan forgiveness.
“It was an uphill battle,” Healey said. “It officially passed through the Senate after a lot of opposition. That was huge as a freshman. This type of legislation is not usually favored and often does not make it through.”
This legislation creates an incentive for nurses to seek employment in rural health professional shortage areas or Idaho critical access hospitals by allowing each nurse $25,000 to use for paying off debts related to nursing school.
Healey’s background in the nursing industry helped her develop the skills to get to the root cause of issues.
“I think we do the same thing here constantly,” Healey said. “I think that’s what’s helped prepare me, as I’m willing to ask the hard questions like why is legislation written the way it is, why is somebody voting no or yes and having that open dialogue and those communication skills with everybody.”
Healey said she’s been blessed to always be respected as a woman in politics and encouraged women to get involved in their communities in a variety of ways.
“Get involved locally,” Healey said. “Find your passion. Build your network. It might be local politics. It might be state politics. It might be a school board. Politics looks different for everyone. Don’t be scared to go ahead and put your name out there.”
To learn more about Representative Healey, visit her website.