The 2017 legislative session has started on an unsettled note during the first two weeks. The House side has been dealing with an internal conflict brought about by the unseemly comments and behavior of one member. Legislative leadership does not like public controversy, so tries to resolve issues quietly, if possible. This time it was not possible and dramatic news headlines have been popping up all across the state.
Senate leadership has been dealing with a historic election challenge. One Democrat senator’s Republican election opponent, who lost, filed for a contest of the election. By law, the final arbiter is the full Senate. The Secretary of State delivered the election documentation to the Senate in session, where it was inventoried as we all looked on (photo above). We referred the case to our State Affairs committee, they reviewed all the details and reported back to the full Senate. Then we voted to deny the contest. It was not even a close consideration after hearing the facts. It was highly unusual though, to have such a contest which has only happened a few times in Idaho’s history.
Meanwhile, the rest of us have all been busy reviewing administrative rules in our committees. You, the voters, approved HJR 5 last election, which puts into the state constitution our right to accept of reject the administrative rules, so thank you. Now we are working hard to complete the rules review (exciting photo above) and put the unusual controversies behind us before the first wave of proposed bills comes through!