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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Rep. Hartgen ‘a lot better,’ will serve on CEC committee next week

When the Idaho Legislature’s Joint CEC Committee – CEC is legislative shorthand for Change in Employee Compensation – convenes next week for the first time since 2008, the joint committee will consist of all nine members of the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee, plus nine of the 12 members of the House panel; it will be chaired by Senate Chairman John Tippets, R-Montpelier, and House Vice Chairman Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot.

House Commerce Chairman Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, who suffered a debilitating infection over the summer that landed him in the hospital for three months, said he’ll serve on the panel, but didn’t think he’d be up to chairing it; he expects to use a wheelchair or walker when he returns to the Statehouse, and his voice remains scratchy after his vocal chords were nicked during surgery. “Some people said I should leave it, they wanted a softer-spoken legislator from Twin Falls County,” Hartgen joked. “I’ve gotten that worked on, so my voice is coming back.”

“It’s been a little tough go,” the third-term lawmaker said. “I wouldn’t wish the condition on anybody, but I am a lot better.”

Hartgen’s been heavily involved in the plans to reconvene the CEC Committee. “There seems to be a consensus that this is the year that we need to take a real look at employee compensation and make some improvements, to the degree we can,” he said. “I think everybody is sort of on the same page on that goal.”

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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