House Speaker Lawerence Denney has sent a memo out to all House committee chairs and vice-chairs asking them to take steps to wrap up the upcoming legislative session by April 1 to help the state save money. Denney told Eye on Boise he's "trying to encourage people to keep this session as short as possible, because with the holdbacks, we're going to be, I think, fairly tight as well." It costs an estimated $30,000 for every day the Legislature is in session; last year's session went 117 days, the second-longest session in state history, and wrapped up on May 8. If this year's session, which begins Jan. 11, ended March 31st, it'd be an 80-day session.
In late September, Gov. Butch Otter ordered $99 million in mid-year budget holdbacks, including a "suggested" 5 percent holdback on expenses for the House and Senate. In his memo, Denney said the House "will participate in that." Click below to read the memo.
TO: House Committee Chairs & Vice-Chairs
FROM: Lawerence Denney, Speaker of the House
DATE: November 30, 2009
RE: Length of 2010 Session
As you are aware, every effort must be made to curtail expenses. The Governor has determined an additional 5% holdback is necessary, and the House will participate in that effort.
The single major expense that the House incurs relates to the length of the session. Every effort will be made to end the 2010 session by April 1. In order to accomplish this we will need everyone’s cooperation. Therefore:
1. Legislation: Please make sure legislation is in the pipeline quickly (hold print hearings as early as possible so that you can begin regular hearings at an earlier date than usual).
2. Rules review: All rules packages will be ready by December 21 and may be accessed on our home page at www.legislature.idaho.gov . Click on the icon for Administrative Rulebooks. Please do as much work on this project as possible before the start of the session. You may consider dividing and assigning appropriate sub-committees prior to January 11 (first day of session).
The committee target date to report on rules review is February 1.
Your assistance in helping to end the session by April 1 is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me.