Monday marked the start of the 2021 Idaho Legislative Session. This Session will be remembered long into the future. As the Legislature convenes to advance legislation impacting counties, IAC will be your voice at the Capitol. Each week you will receive the IAC Legislative Bulletin in your inbox. The Bulletin includes featured articles about legislation important to counties; a look at the week to come; links to IAC Legislative Committee agendas, meeting materials, and minutes; independent analysis of legislation affecting counties; as well as links to legislation and the IAC Bill Tracker.
While IAC is not advancing member-initiated legislation this year, we will be busy tracking all the property tax legislation, transportation and infrastructure bills, Medicaid expansion funding proposals, and other policies advanced by the Legislature. IAC is implementing new tools and resources for the membership to keep everyone engaged and informed.
We know transparency will be a hot button topic so IAC created a new data portal on our website. We’ve added information on county property tax budgets and levies, criminal justice expenses, revenue sharing, federal land payments, and the recently added voter approved bond and levy tracker. We’ll continue adding county data to provide support to county priorities throughout the session. The portal can be accessed here: https://datastudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/441c6690-07d0-4514-8cd9-964bf3e92a28/page/OSJmB.
We also know the membership wants to stay up to date on weekly legislative activity. To help each of you stay in the loop, IAC staff will host weekly web conferences with the membership by IAC district. This will provide you an opportunity to discuss legislative proposals with fellow elected officials and IAC policy staff. This will help IAC staff to better understand the needs and interests of county officials. These weekly meetings will begin the week of January 25th. Stay tuned for more information.
Lastly, IAC needs your help lobbying the legislature on issues impacting counties. Because of COVID, we’ll likely have less access to legislators than usual. Throughout the session, we plan on inviting IAC members to come to the Capitol and discuss specific legislative topics with legislators. Some weeks we’ll invite small groups of county officials to come to Boise to discuss property tax budgets, other weeks we’ll invite officials to come to Boise to discuss transportation funding needs. We’ll have opportunities for other policy areas as well, including the county indigent program, funding for county services like public defense and district court, as well as other topics that will arise throughout the session. Please pay close attention to your email for invitations to come to Boise.
You have my commitment that IAC staff will do all we can to represent you in Boise and keep you informed of legislative proceedings. To do this, we at IAC need your help. Stay engaged. Meet frequently with your legislators (in person or via Zoom, phone, or text). Keep us informed of your conversations as we keep you informed of ours. We are in this together and together we can represent you and your constituents.