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Eye On Boise

Wed., Dec. 12, 2012, 10:41 a.m.

Report: Citizen lawmakers’ occupations differ from state as a whole, affect policies

StateImpact Idaho took a look at the occupations of the 105 citizen legislators who make up the 2013 Idaho Legislature, and compared them to those of Idahoans as a whole. The conclusion: They don’t match up. For example, 21 percent of Idaho legislators work in agriculture; just 5.3 percent of Idahoans as a whole work in ag-related fields, including forestry, mining, fishing and hunting.

Most Idahoans work in educational services, health care, and social assistance, according to the U.S. Census. But StateImpact found that just one Idaho legislator works in education, although several are listed as retired educators; and nearly 26 percent work in business, including small retail owners, consultants, construction company owners, and entrepreneurs.

That could help explain the Legislature’s tendency to favor tax policies beneficial to business; you can read the full StateImpact Idaho report here.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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