Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, and Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise, introduced legislation this morning in the Senate State Affairs Committee to end Idaho’s distinction as one of just four states in the nation with no financial disclosure requirements for its state legislators. “There was one area where Idaho was falling substantially behind other states, and it was in the area of financial disclosure, the pre-disclosure of potential for conflicts of interest,” Davis said. “As I looked at what other states were doing, it didn’t seem to me that the bar was unreasonably high.” Davis said he looked at other states’ disclosure laws, and asked himself if he’d have a problem complying with them. “I would have no problem,” he concluded.
The bill would require legislative or statewide candidates or office holders to disclose their employers, their sources of gross income over $10,000; their real estate owned in Idaho other than personal residence; and their other financial interests in Idaho valued at $5,000 or more. Actual values or income amounts wouldn’t have to be reported. Kelly told the State Affairs Committee, “It’s a great first step,” which prompted Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, to demand, “What do you mean by ‘first step’ - do you mean this is the camel’s nose under the tent? … What’s the second step?” Kelly responded, “That will be for future legislators.” The committee voted unanimously to introduce the bill.