Because Sen. Brad Little, R-Emmett, has been out for surgery, Carlos Bilbao has been filling in for him for the opening weeks of the session. On Friday, Bilbao sponsored his first bill in the Senate, offering arguments to other senators in favor of passing SB 1214, which would require campaign finance reporting for candidates for mayor and city council in cities with populations down to 5,000, rather than the current threshold of 16,000.
"This is a good bill because it promotes honesty and disclosure," Bilbao told the Senate.
But when the roll was called, most senators voted no, and Bilbao reddened. Then, one by one, nearly all stood up and changed their votes to yes. The final vote was 29-2.
Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, a longtime senator who now presides over the Senate, reassured Bilbao, "Let me say that the initiation here isn't nearly as difficult as when I arrived."