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Idaho's 2013 Legislature convened in Boise on January 7. We've put together a guide to the session, including ways to contact your lawmaker, how to get involved, and comprehensive information about the people elected to office.The BasicsHow to Contact Your Legislator Tweet Your Lawmaker: A Guide To Idaho Legislators On TwitterFive Ways to Participate in the Idaho Legislature Where to Watch, ListenExploring the Demographics of Idaho's 2013 LegislatureWho Are Idaho’s Legislators? A Demographic Breakdown Of The 2013 LegislatureIdaho’s Legislature Has More Women Than Most StatesIdaho Has Older-Than-Average Legislature, Does Age Matter?How Lawmakers' Day Jobs Affect Policy Decisions In Idaho PhDs, MDs And JDs Among Idaho Lawmakers’ Diverse Educational BackgroundsLegislators’ Religions Align Closely With Idahoans, Except For Catholics And MormonsWhat Lawmakers Are SayingBefore the start of the 2013 legislative session, we sat down with a few key lawmakers to discuss a handful of issues. We focused on three areas sure to be hot topics; education funding, economic development and taxes, and healthcare.Sen. Stennett: Idaho Must Invest In Infrastructure To Be CompetitiveSen. Keough: Idaho Must Define ‘Adequate And Thorough’ To Fund EducationSen. Goedde: The Best Way To Equalize Idaho Schools Is Through Digital LearningFrom Education To Tax Cuts, Idaho’s New House Speaker Weighs In On Key IssuesRep. Collins: We Don’t Have The Money To Get Rid Of Idaho’s Personal Property TaxRep. Bell: Idaho’s Budget Woes And The Push To Repeal The Personal Property Tax Are A “Perfect Storm”Sen. Cameron: Idaho May Be “Falling Short” When It Comes To Funding SchoolsState of the State AddressGov. Otter’s State Of The State Speech Sets His Agenda For Idaho Legislature

Idaho's Legal Fund To Be Drained Further After Lost Lawsuit

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Constitutional Defense Council will meet Wednesday. The members will be asked to spend money to pay for a lost legal case. Recent court cases have drained the fund considerably this year.

Idaho will now use the fund to pay for a $70,000 bill for attorney fees and costs in the Madelynn Taylor case. Taylor sued the state for permission to be buried with her late wife in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery. The cemetery refused because of Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. Gay marriage became legal a year ago and this year Taylor got a permanent injunction barring the state from keeping the couple apart after death.

Wednesday the Governor, Attorney General, Senate President and House Speaker will meet at the Capitol to approve the payment.

In August, three other lost legal cases subtracted nearly $900,000 from the fund. In those, Idaho lost its fight to ban gay marriage, had an abortion law overturned and lost a fight on a no-camping rule in the Occupy Boise case. Earlier this year, the state also paid out $400,000 in its unsuccessful fight against gay marriage.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter has defended the lawsuits, saying in every case, the state was defending statutes or its constitution. Some critics, though, accuse a state government that prides itself on fiscal conservatism of wasting taxpayer money on long-shot legal cases.

Otter has said he will ask the Idaho Legislature to add more money to the fund next year.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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