The 2020 ICL Legislative Update will cover what you need to know: what’s happened, what’s coming next, and how to stay connected to your legislators who will be voting on issues that impact Idaho’s environment.

As the giant sugar beet (Rupert) and oversized potato (Boise) descended to mark the new year across Idaho this week, it was a reminder that Idaho’s legislators are similarly preparing to descend upon Idaho’s Capitol to undertake the people’s business.

That means it’s once again time to trade in my hiking boots for my wingtips. Ever since our founding in 1973, the Idaho Conservation League has had a lobbyist in the Idaho Statehouse, and for the fifth year running, I am proud to carry the torch by serving as your voice for conservation in the marbled halls of the capitol.

Return of the Living Dead (Bill)

As we’ve become accustomed, we’ll face some stiff headwinds as the 2nd Regular Session of the 65th Idaho Legislature convenes on Monday, January 6. The odor of acrimonious debates from the 2019 Session continue to linger in the stately corridors as ghosts of legislatures past continue to haunt the building.

The dispute between the House and Senate over rules lives on, desires to undermine the citizen initiative process continue to have a pulse, and the debate over K-12 Science Standards will be exhumed, even after we thought we laid the issue to rest in 2018.

What Else Is In Store?

Even less time than usual will be available for new legislation, since it will likely take extra time to work through the complete set of Administrative Rules. Usually the legislature only has to consider new rules, but because of the dispute last year, all 6,500+ pages of rules must be considered.

It’s an election year, so the thinking goes that it will be a shorter session since all legislators will face re-election in November and several could face primary challenges in May.

Finally, budgets will be tight due to lower than anticipated tax revenues. Gov. Little asked all state agencies (except K-12 Education) to trim 1% from their current FY2020 budgets, which started on July 1, 2019, and 2% from their 2021 budgets that will be considered this session.

Become an ICL Member

ICL is looking forward to another successful, if challenging, year in the Idaho Legislature. Just like we have for the past 45+ years, we are committed to advocating on behalf of clean water, renewable energy, public health, wildlife and public lands. As we prepare to face the 2020 Idaho Legislature, we invite you to join us!

Whether you give $1, $1,000 or $10,000 or if you’ve just taken five minutes to contact an elected official, you keep ICL going—and you keep me going.

Stay Tuned In 

Text Message Alerts: If you want to be the first to know big news, sign up for our text alerts. 4Idaho to the number 52886

ICL Bill Tracker: Track new bills and learn about our position with the ICL Bill Tracker. Check back as the session progresses and see what’s…come alive.

Volunteer by becoming an ICL Advocate: Make 2020 the year to get involved and raise your voice for issues that matter to you.

And Finally, the TOTW

With more questions than answers, I bring you the Tie of the Week!

I appreciate hearing from you. So if you have questions, want to spotlight a new issue for a future update, or just want to let me know that you enjoy my Tie of the Week (TOTW), feel free to contact me. My email and phone are on the sidebar. ~Jonathan