Legislative Breakdown

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After 95 days of wrangling, infighting and lawmaking, Idaho’s 2019 legislative session wrapped up last week.

Our theme this week is catfights and civility (or the lack thereof).

“It’s been a difficult session,” says Boise State political science professor Gary Moncrief.

We also take a look at why things didn’t get done in the legislature this year, why non-lawmakers were so frustrated, and we answer a listener question.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been a wild session and an even wilder week. Medicaid expansion sideboards and citizen initiative bills were the headliners. Lawmakers talked about everything from two-headed camels to moon shots to people losing their faith in lawmakers.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Photo

This week we head back to the Statehouse to chat with freshman Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise). We talked to her in the first podcast this season about being brand new to the job. Now we find out how it's going several months into the session, and what she learned along the way.

Idaho Department of Agriculture

This week we tackle stadiums, agency rules and the Idaho Department of Agriculture.

Secretary of State's Website

You had questions about redistricting and we’ve got answers on the history, legality and mechanics of Redistricting.

We get really wonky and go way into the weeds on the topic of redrawing the state’s legislative district lines. Some GOP lawmakers want to make a change to the way Idaho does that, switching from a six-member redistricting commission to a seven-member board.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been a very emotional week at the Idaho Legislature as lawmakers argued, debated and walked out of a hearing over the heated topic of redistricting.

Rakesh Mohan, Director of the Office of Performance Evaluations.Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public RadioEdit | Remove

Every state legislature spends money and someone has to keep track of how well that money is being spent.

In Idaho, that’s the job of the folks at the Office of Performance Evaluations. They spend their time investigating stage agencies and programs to find out how they are doing.

The Office released a report in January on the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center that made headlines around the state.


Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

We're back!

After two weeks into the session, lawmakers are getting their feet under them at the Idaho Legislature.  

And for about two dozen of them who are brand new to the office, that means figuring out everything from their new email system to where the bathrooms are.

This week we visit a freshman lawmaker in her new job.

And Samantha Wright asks Boise State Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief the question why do lawmakers want this job anyway?

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

After 80 days of wrangling, bargaining and lawmaking, Idaho’s 2018 legislative session wrapped up this week.

We take a look at what didn’t get done during the session and why. Lawmakers failed to take up a health care bill, continued to ignore the Add the Words campaign and didn’t reconsider a grocery tax repeal.

John Watson / Flickr

Despite a lot of cooking this session, the Idaho Legislature failed to make “soup” out of Governor Butch Otter’s health care bill.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

If you’re listening to Legislative Breakdown every week, chances are you probably also check in day-to-day to the Eye on Boise blog from the Spokesman Review.

The blog is THE spot to find out what’s happening during every hour of the legislature in real time and the reporter who makes it all happen is Betsy Russell.

You can find her running, literally, from committee meeting to protest to press conference, working hard to keep up.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Who doesn’t like sausage? Tastes great at breakfast, but it can get kind of ugly when there’s just two weeks left in the Idaho Legislature.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Photo

The Idaho Health Care Plan and redistricting: two of the big topics the Idaho Legislature dealt with this week.

The health care bill ground to an abrupt halt, with several Republicans calling it an expansion of Medicaid in Idaho. That move from lawmakers dealt a blow to Governor Butch Otter, who had been touting the plan around the country.

And legislators are also considering a new plan for how redistricting gets done in Idaho.

Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press

Why should you care about tax cut bills in the Idaho Legislature? That’s the question we ask this week on Legislative Breakdown.

Otto Kitsinger / AP Photo

How do Idaho lawmakers learn to be better negotiators? They go to school, of course.

Health care, tax cuts, climate change and a live studio audience. That’s the nexus of this week’s look at the Idaho Legislature.

Paul Moody / Flickr

Financial disclosure laws, uncontested legislative races and 100 or so budget bills. These are just some of the ways that the Idaho Capitol is weird, compared to other state legislatures.

Samantha Wright/BSPR

This week on Legislative Breakdown, we go behind the scenes to find out who's behind all the work at the Statehouse that you never hear about.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

How to be a lobbyist–that's the latest episode of “Legislative Breakdown.” In this week's podcast, Samantha Wright and Boise State Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief are joined by special guest, Lyn Darrington Elliott.

Kimberlee Kruesi / AP Photo

Money, power, humility and budgets - that’s this week’s episode of “Legislative Breakdown.” In this week's podcast, Samantha Wright and Boise State Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief are joined by special guest, co-chair of the powerful Joint Finance Appropriations Committee, Representative Maxine Bell of Jerome.

Bruce Newcomb

Taxes, legislator squabbles, herding cats and goat rodeos make up this week’s episode of “Legislative Breakdown.” In this week's podcast, Samantha Wright and Boise State Political Science Professor Gary Moncrief are joined by special guest former Idaho House Speaker Bruce Newcomb.