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Capitol Reflections: 2022 Session, Issue 6

By: Idaho Farm Bureau Governmental Affairs

“The story of Detroit's bankruptcy was simple enough: Allow capitalism to grow the city, campaign against income inequality, tax the job creators until they flee, increase government spending in order to boost employment, promise generous pension plans to keep people voting for failure. Rinse, wash and repeat.”  - Ben Shapiro

IFBF Legislative Intern Program


BOISE- This week I was given the opportunity to participate in the IFBF Governmental Affairs team legislative intern program.  When I was approached for this opportunity by Chyla Wilson I was apprehensive to say the least.  My initial reaction was, I’m just a farmer from Boundary County, there’s no way that I am qualified to work with legislators and our governmental affairs team at the Capitol.   

After arriving in Boise and meeting with the IFBF team, I quickly realized that they were committed to providing me with an exciting and informative experience.  I spent most of the first day attending House and Senate committee hearings and learning about bills that IFBF is monitoring.  I was also given the opportunity to attend several meetings and learn how the Governmental Affairs team works with legislators, associations, and other groups to advocate for Farm Bureau policy. During the week, I was able to visit with many lawmakers, view the proceedings on both the House and Senate floor, attend committee hearings, and watch as the team testified in favor of bills.

I would recommend this program to any Farm Bureau member that would like to gain experience working with state legislators and see our legislative process in action. I came away from this week with a better understanding of both the Idaho lawmaking process, and how important Farm Bureau policy is to that process.  I would like to thank the Governmental Affairs team for this opportunity.  – Darcy Lammers



Bond “Cooling Off” Bill Passes


BOISE- A bill that would prevent local taxing districts from running a failed bond measure again within less than one year passed the House on a vote of 43-26.  H512 is sponsored by Rep Heather Scott (R-Blanchard).  This same bill was approved in the House two years ago, but was never given a hearing in the Senate.

H512 is aimed at preventing a taxing district from running the same bond measure repeatedly, in some instances four times in one year, until it is approved by the voters, often when there is a very low voter turn-out. Once approved, H512 would require an 11 month “cooling off” period before a taxing district could run a failed bond again.  The hope is that during that time, the taxing district would work closely with the citizens to determine if the project should be tried again, and if so, what should be adjusted to make it more in line with the desires of the voters.  Simply running the same proposal over and over again is not an appropriate strategy and is not honoring the wishes of the taxpayers.

H512 will now move to the Senate State Affairs Committee for consideration, which is chaired by Senator Patti Anne Lodge (R-Huston).  Senator Lori Den Hartog (R-Meridian) is the sponsor of H512 in the Senate.  We appreciate the efforts by these legislators to recognize there are taxing districts who are abusing the current system.  This is a reasonable approach to ensure taxing districts still have the ability to bond, while providing greater incentive for them to work closely with voters prior to running a bond measure so they are in-line with the desires of the taxpayers.  IFBF supports H512.



Redistricting and Open Seats


BOISE- With the Idaho Supreme court upholding the new legislative map after redistricting, many of our members are interested in what this means for them and their new state legislative districts. They are wondering which legislators are included in their new district and if there are any open seats. Below is a district by district look at open seats or multiple incumbents having to run for a limited number of seats after redistricting. To find out which new legislative district you are in click HERE 


Senate:  Jim Woodward, R-Sagle

House Seat A: Seat Open

House Seat B: Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay


Senate: Seat Open

House Seat A: Heather Scott, R-Blanchard

House Seat B: Seat Open


Senate: Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens

House Seat A: Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens

House Seat B: Doug Okuniewicz, R-Hayden.


Senate: Open Seat (Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, to run for Idaho Secretary of State)

House Seat A: Jim Addis, R-Coeur d’Alene

House Seat B: Paul Amador, R-Coeur d’Alene


Senate: Peter Riggs, R-Post Falls

House Seat A: Ron Mendive, R-Coeur d’Alene

House Seat B: Tony Wisniewski, R-Post Falls


Senate: David Nelson, D-Moscow

House Seat A & B: Brandon Mitchell, R-Lewiston; Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee and Rep. Lori

McCann, R-Lewiston


Senate: Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville (Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, is in district but won Lewiston mayoral race)

House Seat A: Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston

House Seat B: Charlie Shepherd, R-Riggins

(Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, for Lieutenant Governor rather than seeking re-election to the House.)


Senate: Open Seat (Christy Zito, R-Hammett, lives in the district but has announced her retirement)

House Seat A & B: Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly; Matt Bundy, R-Mountain Home; Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett (Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley; is running for Secretary of State)


Senate: Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, and Abby Lee, R-Fruitland.

House Seat A & B:  Scott Syme, R-Caldwell; Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth; Judy Boyle, R-Midvale.


Senate: Open Seat (Rep Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton is planning on running for this seat)

House Seat A:  Mike Moyle R- Star

House Seat B: Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa


Senate: Open Seat

House Seat A: Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell

House Seat B: Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell (believed he will possibly run for the open Senate seat)


Senate: Open Seat (Rep. Ben Adams, R-Nampa, announced intention to run for the seat)

House Seat A: Open Seat

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Jeff Agenbroad, R-Nampa

House Seat A: Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Steven Thayn, R-Emmett; and C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle

House Seat A: Open Seat

House Seat B: Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle


Senate: Fred Martin, R-Boise (Rep. Codi Galloway, R-Boise, has announced her intention to run against Sen. Martin for the Senate seat)

House Seat A: Steve Berch, D-Boise

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Sen. Ali Rabe, D-Boise (Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, announced retirement)

House Seat A: John McCrostie, D-Garden City

House Seat B: Colin Nash, D-Boise


Senate: Open Seat

House Seat A: Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise.

House Seat B: Sue Chew, D-Boise (she is now in this district after moving)


Senate: Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise

House Seat A: Ilana Rubel, D-Boise

House Seat B: Brooke Green, D-Boise


Senate: Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise

House Seat A: Lauren Necochea, D-Boise

House Seat B: Chris Mathias, D-Boise.


Senate: Chuck Winder, R-Boise

House Seat A: Joe Palmer, R-Meridian

House Seat B: James Holtzclaw, R-Meridian


Senate: Regina Bayer, R-Meridian

House Seat A: Open Seat

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian

House Seat A & B: Steven Harris, R-Meridian; Greg Ferch, R-Boise; John Vander Woude, R-Nampa; and Jason Monks, R-Meridian


Senate: Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston; and Todd Lakey, R-Nampa (believed that Sen. Lodge will not be seeking re-election)

House Seat A: Open Seat

House Seat B: Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa.


Senate: Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls

House Seat A: Clark Kauffman, R-Filer (believed that he will not seek re-election)

House Seat B: Sally Toone, D-Gooding.


Senate: Open Seat (Sen Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, is retiring. Rep. Linda Hartgen, R-Twin Falls has announced her intention to run for the seat)

House Seat A: Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Reps. Laurie Lickley, R-Jerome (Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum announced retirement)

House Seat A: Ned Burns, D-Bellevue

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Kelly Anthon, R-Burley

House Seat A: Open Seat (Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, is running for lieutenant governor)

House Seat B: Open Seat (Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, has announced his retirement)


Senate: Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon

House Seat A: Open Seat

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Open Seat (Mark Nye, D-Pocatello announced retirement. Rep. James Ruchti, D-Pocatello has announced his intention to run for this seat)

House Seat A: Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello

House Seat B: Open Seat


Senate: Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot,(possible he may announce his retirement. Seat currently occupied by Sen. Julie Van Orden as a substitute)

House Seat A: David Cannon, R-Blackfoot

House Seat B: Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot


Senate: Van Burtenshaw, R-Terreton

House Seat A: Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony

House Seat B: Rod Furniss, R-Rigby.


Senate: Kevin Cook, R-Idaho Falls

House Seat A: Open Seat (Gary Marshall, R-Idaho Falls, has announced his retirement)

House Seat B: Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls


Senate: Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls

House Seat A: Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls

House Seat B: Marco Erickson, R- Idaho Falls


Senate:  Doug Ricks, R-Rexburg

House Seat A: Jon Weber, R-Rexburg

House Seat B: Ron Nate, R-Rexburg


Senate: Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs

House A & B: Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom; Kevin Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs; and Chad Christensen, R-Iona. (Marc Gibbs, R-Grace, announced retirement)


Fencing Bill Introduced


BOISE- This week S1312 was introduced into the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee chaired by Senator Van Burtenshaw (R-Terreton). The sponsor of S1312, Senator Mark Harris (R-Soda Springs), indicated that the purpose of the bill is to try and resolve some issues that have arisen when certain livestock owners have not kept their fences maintained and their livestock are routinely leaving their property and causing problems for other landowners.

S1312 makes several adjustments to existing fence laws. If any barbed wire fences are in disrepair, or “under circumstances or conditions likely to injure livestock” then it is the owner’s responsibility to repair the fence. If the Sheriff determines that a barbed wire fence is in disrepair, he must notify the owner either verbally or in writing, and the owner must repair the fence within 5 days of notification, or he will be subject to an infraction (ticket) and will be fined $150. If the owner fails to maintain his fence a second time within five years of a first offense, he will then be subject to a misdemeanor and a fine of at least $250 with a possibility of up to six months in jail.

The takeaway from S1312 is that landowners should be good neighbors by keeping their fences maintained so their livestock do not routinely leave their property and negatively affect other people’s property. Even though Idaho is an open-range state, it is important to note that does not give license to livestock owners to let their stock wander wherever they want. There is no common range where anyone with stock can freely graze anymore in Idaho. At this point, the open range law is primarily used to determine liability when there is an incident involving a vehicle hitting livestock on a road. Livestock owners must have pasture or range enough to feed their animals and they must reasonably attempt to keep them within their lands.

It is the hope of the sponsor that these minor tweaks will be enough to resolve the issues and will provide the incentive for fence maintenance to improve where needed across the state.



Agriculture Aviation Bill


BOISE- A bill that deals with agricultural aviation was recently introduced in the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. H606 which is brought by the Idaho Agriculture Aviation Association and sponsored by Rep. Judy Boyle (R- Midvale) and Sen. Jim Patrick (R- Twin Falls) would add to the definition of “agricultural operations” under the Right to Farm Act.

Agricultural aircraft must travel to and from agricultural lands and treatment areas to carry out their work. As agricultural/urban interface in Idaho continues to grow, so does the number of calls that state agencies and law enforcement receive regarding common agricultural aviation use. This bill will protect the ability of agricultural aircraft to access agricultural lands and treatment areas. H606 does not relieve pilots from Federal Aviation Administration regulations related to low-flying and congested areas.

IFBF Policy #41 supports the right-to-farm law and the concept behind it. Farm Bureau also encourages legislative changes to strengthen the law. IFBF supports H606.




Ag Committee Presentations


BOISE- This week, both the House and Senate Agricultural Affairs Committees held several informational hearings on a variety of topics. This is a common practice for the committees each year, with several commissions being statutorily required to give annual updates to the legislature. Other state programs, commodity groups/associations, supporting industry representatives, and stakeholders are also commonly solicited to give presentations to the committees.

This is a valuable process to educate legislators about the important details and issues of Idaho’s diverse agriculture industry. With several new legislators on the agriculture committees, it is a good opportunity for them to ask questions and meet the representatives of the different commodity groups. To review any committee meetings and see the presentations given to lawmakers, visit the legislature’s digital media archive HERE.

The following organizations were part of many of the presentations in the agriculture committees this week. Also included are the links to their web pages.
• Idaho Wine Commission:
• Snake River Sugarbeet Growers Association:
• Amalgamated Sugar:
• Port of Lewiston:
• Idaho Invasive Species Program: