I’m laid up this week after knee surgery this morning, but S-R reporter Erica Curless, who’s filling in for me over at the Statehouse, sent over this note: Rathdrum resident Tina Jacobsen is filling in for Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, this week. Hart, who owns an engineering firm in Hayden, is an expert witness in a trial and will be absent all week. Jacobsen, a Republican, ran for Kootenai County Clerk in 2002 against lone elected Democrat Dan English.
Idaho’s substitute system is something of a rarity among states: When state senators or representatives are going to be gone, they can appoint someone to serve in their place. That’s often meant a legislator’s spouse – or even mom – gets a chance to serve. The substitutes cast votes, attend committee meetings and everything else.