Eye On Boise

MONDAY, DEC. 10, 2012, 10:58 A.M.

Northern Idaho lawmakers double their numbers on JFAC

The Idaho Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee meets in March of 2012 in this file photo; at left is Senate Vice-Chair Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint. The joint committee writes the state budget. (Betsy Russell)
The Idaho Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee meets in March of 2012 in this file photo; at left is Senate Vice-Chair Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint. The joint committee writes the state budget. (Betsy Russell)

Lawmakers from Lewiston north will take up eight of the 20 seats on the Idaho Legislature's powerful joint budget committee when the legislative session convenes in January, doubling the representation for the region on the budget-writing panel. "Five of us are in the northern Panhandle, so to the degree there might be northern issues that we all would agree on, we certainly would have the opportunity for some leverage there," said Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, a ninth-term senator who will again serve as the Senate vice-chair of the joint committee.

Clout for North Idaho has varied over the years in the Idaho Legislature, with no North Idaho lawmakers serving in the majority leadership of the House or Senate, either in the past year or the upcoming session; this time, none even ran. But the budget committee is a place where lawmakers from a region can combine to boost a project from their area. Meanwhile, the number of committee chairmanships held by North Idaho lawmakers will stay even in 2013. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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