The Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) policy team recently participated in the North Idaho Legislative Tour hosted by the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce. This biennial tour is the unofficial kick-off to the next session of the Idaho Legislature. The tour offers North Idaho people, businesses, higher education institutions, and more an opportunity to highlight the natural resources and economic development occurring in the panhandle. More than half of Idaho legislators participated in the tour, including many newly elected legislators from across the state. Statewide officials were also present, including Governor Brad Little, Lt. Governor-elect Scott Bedke, State Controller Brandon Woolf, and Secretary of State-elect Phil McGrane.
Governor Little kicked off the event by serving as keynote speaker at the opening night banquet. Governor Little emphasized his continued support for economic and academic opportunities in Idaho. The Governor shared that he “views Idaho through one lens: ensuring Idaho’s children and grandchildren have the best opportunities to stay in Idaho and for the ones who have left to return.“
The IAC policy team enjoyed catching up with seasoned legislators and getting to know new incoming lawmakers. The team toured a manufacturing plant at the Clearwater Paper Company and the Idaho Forest Group. The tour included visits to the new Lewiston High School, including its CTE wing and the new Lewis and Clark State College Schweitzer CTE Center, within walking distance of the high school.
IAC Executive Director Seth Grigg said, “It is always nice to visit and learn more about North Idaho. We saw many examples of what happens when local governments, the private sector, and educational institutions work together to increase the quality of living in the Gem State.”