Members of the Legislative Council are now hearing reports from each of the interim legislative committees and task forces, which have mostly modest agendas this year given the budget crisis. First up was Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, co-chairman of the Energy, Environment & Technology interim committee, joined by Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa; they were followed by Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, and Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, reporting from the natural resources interim committee.
Rep. Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, co-chair of the Soil Conservation Commission Interim Committee, said his panel drafted two pieces of reform legislation, but neither got much support. One would have made the existing commission a division in the state Department of Agriculture; the other would have put it under the governor's office like the Office of Species Conservation. "This might be one of those issues that we beg leave to sit again," Roberts told the Legislative Council. "We are still in the process of working on it. As we have found with school consolidation and we have found with highway district consolidation, they are very protective entities, they're protective of the way they've done business in the past and trying to move to a different structure or a different level of accountability has been a very difficult task."