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Viewpoint: Idaho Senate’s top Democrat discusses the governor’s economic recovery plan and life in hard-hit Blaine County

The top Democrat in the Idaho Senate agrees that the phased-in approach is the best way to go.

BOISE, Idaho — Other government leaders are weighing in on the governor's economic recovery plan.  

Doug Petcash interviewed Idaho Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Michelle Stennett, for this weekend's Viewpoint, and got her take on the plan.  

In short, she believes the phased-in approach is the way to go.  

Senator Stennett lives in and represents Blaine County, which has been hard hit by the coronavirus.

It has the second most confirmed cases of COVID-19 behind only Ada County, and until recently, was under an even stricter isolation order than the governor's stay-at-home order.

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Pictures she took show just how deserted the cities of Bellevue and Ketchum looked the other day.  

Stennett says it's going to take a long time for the resort area to get back to anything like normal. But she supports the governor's plan to restart the economy in steps.  

"I think it is time to start making very gradual differences and transitions into bringing business back online, and then making sure we pause and make sure that we're holding our own as far as infection and the cases stay down and it stays flatlined or improves," Stennett said. "And then if it doesn't and we have to hold it back a little bit, I really believe his plan was about as thoughtful as you can do it and still make sure the economy comes back online, that people can get back to some degree, small degree of normalcy, little by little, and then have that rollout if everything goes well by the end of June, and then we can hopefully see how we fare over the summer."

Stennett said just this week landscapers and construction workers were allowed to go back to work in Blaine County, and it was nice to see that activity picking up very quickly and those people going back to work.  

She also said she sympathizes with those still out of work who are worried about paying bills and feeding their families, and she understands why some have been protesting, but she believes opening too quickly could lead to a spike in infections putting more people at risk.  

You can see the full interview with Sen. Stennett on Viewpoint this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and then Sunday at 6:30 a.m. and 11 p.m.

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Watch more Viewpoint:

See them all in our YouTube playlist here: