Idaho Falls
39° F
Clear
Clear

2013 Idaho legislative session winding down

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: Mar 21 2013 07:35:07 PM CDT
idaho legislature 2013 flat
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

The 2012 state legislature is expected to wrap up late next week, ending three months worth of work.

But how much does it cost for the Idaho Legislature to operate -- are we getting our money's worth?

It's all about perspective. From a bill making it a crime for shepherds to abandon their flocks, to another bill that would put Idaho police in jail if they enforce federal gun seizure laws... which don't really exist, a lot of measures generated heat.

"They gave us some targets we couldn't resist," said Jerry Scheid.

Husband and wife duo, Jerry & Carrie Scheid, wouldn't call themselves political junkies, but they say the legislature has talked about some pretty weird things this session.

"When they make a law, it's a joke. When they make it a joke, it's a law. We've looked at our legislature a little bit in that light this year," said Jerry.

Together, the Scheids wrote a column for a local paper, highlighting what they call the "Bad Idaho Legislative Efforts" of the session.

Among them -- SJR102 which would change the state constitution's definition of "militia" to include all Idaho adults.

"Regardless if you can walk or talk or have a functioning brain or know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of," said Carrie.

Some constituents think there are plenty of other education issues to address instead, like funding and graduation rates.

"That's what we should be working on -- being in the black and not in the red," said Javier Mendoza, Idaho Falls resident.

"Technical schools need to be honored and I think kids who want to do that hands-on (learning) need to be honored," said Marian Morgan, Idaho Falls resident.

Costs vary, but on an average day it the price tag for the legislative session is $30,000. It's been about 54 days since legislators convened -- costing taxpayers about $1.6 million.

"It's good to remember what Mark Twain said. He said no man's life, liberty or property are safe when the legislature is in session," said Jerry.

The Scheids also say it's important to be an active participant in politics.

If you're not happy with the way things are going, let your legislators know.

Carrie created a group for moderate Idahoans to discuss pending bills. For more information, send her an email at carriescheid@gmail.com.

Advertisement