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Idaho Lawmakers Looking Ahead

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By Aimee Burnett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) With the dust barely settled on the last legislative session... Lawmakers are already looking ahead to the next round at the Statehouse.

Likely at the top of their list... transportation funding.

"If you're driving the corridor every day between Boise and Caldwell, you probably don't think there's a transportation funding issue. That's good highways all the way. But, when you get into the rural areas, there's more of a need," says District 25 B Representative Clark Kauffman.

Kauffman details the system as having a 262 million dollar shortfall.

"It's really a form of deficit spending because we're not maintaining this asset we've been given, and we need to find a way to do that," he explains.

Next on the list... rules review.

Legislators pass laws, then agencies implement them, and part of that implementation is writing rules for the laws.

Idaho is somewhat unique in that rules must then come back to the legislature for approval.

"We think it's a really important part of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branch. So, it will be on the ballot in November," says District 23 Senator Bert Brackett.

And, finally Add the Four Words Idaho...

Gay rights activists want a hearing adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Idaho Human Rights Act.

"I'm not in favor of carving out different segments of people for extra protection. If we enforce the laws that we have now, that our constitution gives us, I think we are okay," Kauffman explains.

“I thought there was some momentum coming into the session, but with the confrontational, disruptive tactics that were used by the group, I really think they lost ground," Brackett says.

After eight years of pushing for change at the Capitol, you'll likely see them back again next year.

This was the shortest legislative session in a decade. It took just seventy-four days.

Lawmakers tackled everything from education funding and water preservation to guns on campus and the ag-security bill.


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