Unfortunately, on the agenda this year will be an effort to claw back some of the Governor’s emergency powers. Following all the outrage and demonstrations from the mostly GOP anti-maskers against the state’s COVID-19 response, republican house members are keen to reign in what the Governor can do without legislative approval. In addition, they are looking at adding a constitutional amendment that allows them to call emergency sessions of the legislature. Currently, this power sits exclusively with the Governor. The Governor not only retains the power to call these sessions, but he also controls the agenda. The GOP wants to remove this power constraint.
The Democrats, on the other hand, will focus on economic, education and healthcare initiatives. Among other things, they want to shore up the social safety net, increase resources and funding for schools, and defend Medicaid expansion. Despite their reduced numbers, they are committed to finding ways to move these issues forward.
Where both sides seem to agree is on the need to address increasing property taxes and fund state infrastructure projects. With Idaho sitting on a $600 million fiscal surplus, there may be room for optimism in this regard.
To bring clarity to these issues and other agenda items, the Dem Club welcomes Rep. Paul Amador. He will discuss what to expect from the legislature in the coming session. Rep. Paul Amador joins us for our Democratic Club meeting on December 18, at noon for an online discussion.
The link to this online discussion will be emailed on Thursday 12/17. If you need assistance, contact Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Representative Amador
Paul is the new chair of the Ways and Means Committee. He was first elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 2016 and re-elected in 2018 and 2020. He serves Legislative District 4 which includes Coeur d’Alene and part of unincorporated Kootenai County.