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By: Idaho Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs

“The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful.” President Calvin Coolidge


Upcoming Changes



BOISE- This election year is bringing many retirements with it. Below is the list of incumbents who have announced they will not be running again for re-election.

Senator Steve Vick – District 2

Senator Christy Zito – District 23

Senator Grant Burgoyne – District 16

Senator Patti Anne Lodge – District 11

Senator Michelle Stennett – District 26

Senator Regina Bayer – District 21

Senator Lee Heider – District 24

Senator Mark Nye – District 29

Senator Daniel Johnson – District 6

Senator Steve Bair – District 31

Senator Mary Souza – District 4

Representative John McCrostie – District 16

Representative Steven Harris – District 21

Representative Clark Kauffman – District 25

Representative Sally Toone – District 26

Representative Fred Wood – District 27

Representative Gary Marshall – District 30

Representative Marc Gibbs – District 32

Representative Caroline Troy – District 5

Representative Rick Youngblood – District 12

Representative Priscilla Giddings – District 7

Representative Dorothy Moon – District 8

Representative Scott Bedke – District 27


Aside from retirements, there are also incumbent House members that are now leaving their current seat to run for a Senate seat, below is the list of those legislators.

Representative Doug Okuniewicz – New District 3

Representative Terry Gestrin – New District 8

Representative Tammy Nichols – New District 10

Representative Greg Chaney – New District 11

Representative Ben Adams – New District 12

Representative Codi Galloway – New District 15

Representative Linda Wright Hartgen – New District 25

Representative Laurie Lickley – New District 26

Representative James Ruchti – New District 29


With so many changes coming to both the House and the Senate, there will be quite a few empty chairmanships and leadership positions that will need to be filled. Below is a list of committees and leadership positions that will now be empty due to retirements or change of seat in the race.

Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee – Vice Chairman

Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee – Vice Chairman

Senate Resources and Environment Committee – Chairman

Senate Resources and Environment Committee – Vice Chairman

Senate State Affairs Committee – Chairman

House Agricultural Affairs Committee – Chairman

House JFAC – Chairman

House JFAC – Vice Chairman

House Health and Welfare – Chairman

House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee – Chairman

House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee – Vice Chairman

House Resources and Conservation Committee – Chairman

House Resources and Conservation Committee – Vice Chairman

House Revenue and Taxation Committee – Chairman

Senate Minority Leader

Speaker of the House




A Furious Race to the Finish Line




BOISE- As the Legislature furiously works to finish up their business by their target date for adjournment, it can be difficult to keep up with all the bills that are moving.  It appears they will finish up their business today but will likely recess and return after five days to ensure that they can take up any bills that the Governor may veto.

Here is a brief update on a few bills Farm Bureau has been following related to taxes:

H436 permanently reduces the top marginal income tax rate from 6.5% to 6%.  The corporate income tax rate is also reduced to 6%.  H436 also provides a one-time rebate of approximately 12% of individual’s 2020 income tax liability, or $75 per dependent, whichever is greater.  Those checks will be distributed over the next several months.  H436 has passed both chambers and been signed into law.  AFBF policy #436 supports H436.

H575 would prohibit county commissions from entering into long-term leases for jails or courthouses without securing a majority vote of the people.  Unfortunately, the Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that long-term leases are not obligated to secure a vote of the people, notwithstanding the requirement in the Idaho Constitution.  H575 is a good step towards fulfilling the constitutional requirement that local governments not incur long-term debt without a 2/3 vote of the people.  H575 has now passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting the signature of the Governor.  IFBF policy #92 supports H575.

H673 clarifies that local governments cannot expand their budgets each year by the value of land that is associated with new construction.  This will help keep budgets a bit leaner and will lead to lower taxes than would otherwise occur.  Both the House and Senate have approved H673 and it is now awaiting the signature of the Governor.  IFBF policy #86 supports H673.

H715 equalizes the statute of limitations for adjusting income tax returns in Idaho.  Currently, if an individual finds they made an error in their income taxes, they can only go back 3 years to get a refund of any over-payment.  However, if the state finds you made an error, they can go back 10 years to collect any taxes owed.  H715 simply allows an Idaho taxpayer to have the same opportunity to go back 10 years as the state has.  For years 4 through 10, the taxpayer can only receive a credit against future taxes rather than receive a refund.  H715 has been approved by both the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.  IFBF policy #93 supports H715.

H735a begins the transition towards the state taking over the responsibility of paying for public defenders rather than local governments. This will allow counties to repeal their charity levy which was normally used to pay for public defenders.  This will provide just over $20 million in property tax relief across the state.  H735a passed through the House, then was amended by the Senate, and was then approved by the House as amended. It is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.  IFBF policy #80 supports H735a.





IFBF’s Final Intern of the 2022 Session



BOISE- My name is Erin Daniels. I am from Caldwell, Idaho, and a second-year student at the University of Idaho studying a B.S. in Rangeland Management with minors in Agribusiness and Animal Science. I am an active member of the Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers (CYFNR), Student Idaho Cattle Association, and Range Club. I initially heard about the internship through being a member of CYFNR and didn’t think too much of it, as I would be a fish out of water with how little I knew about Idaho Farm Bureau and our legislative system. I worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a rangeland technician last summer and decided that I could broaden my knowledge and try something new. After a leap of faith, I decided to reach out to do the internship.

Growing up, I did not know much about the agricultural industry, but had a love for riding and showing horses which grew my interest and passion for the industry. While I don’t have a background in ag, it has pushed me even more to reach out to people and gain experience in any way I can. Through this internship, I have gained connections through agricultural industry leaders, senators, and representatives. I learned that being bold and introducing myself to anyone with a name tag would impact me, no matter how small the conversation was. Every conversation I had was impactful and truly inspired me to follow my passion and further my education.

My time as an intern for the Idaho Farm Bureau was like drinking water from a fire hose. I can confidently say that I did not know anything about the government at the state level, so there was a lot to learn. There was so much information poured into me on my first day, and until the end, I continued to ask questions to make sure that I fully understood. Chyla, Braden, Russ, and Quinne took copious amounts of time to educate me and fully submerge me into learning about the grass-roots system, (a term I love being a range major) and how it works.

I cannot thank everyone enough for taking the time to educate me on the legislative process, the governmental affairs team, and the Idaho Farm Bureau as a whole. It completely changed my life through connections, education, and even the ag industry. It has driven my passion to a whole new level. I recommend anyone for this internship who is passionate about the ag industry, about our state government, and just learning in general.





Vet Bill Stalls in Committee



BOISE- The House Agriculture Affairs Committee held a hearing on S1380 this week. The hearing spread across two days, with many questions from the committee and public testimony. Ultimately the bill failed to pass the committee on a vote 6-8. It was expressed by nearly all members of the committee that they recognize there is a problem. Some that voted against the bill communicated their support of the concept of the bill; however, they had concerns with certain aspects of the specific bill. Several legislators have approached the industry stakeholders with interest to bring back a new version of the bill next year.

For those interested in an overview of S1380, please reference past issues of Capitol Reflections here. IFBF Policy #111 supports efforts to incentivize vet students studying large food animal medicine to practice in Idaho. IFBF supported S1380.