Idaho has had just six special sessions of the Legislature in the past 35 years, the last one then-Gov. Jim Risch’s one-day session in August of 2006 to shift school funding from the property tax to the state sales tax. The longest of those six lasted three days. This as Idaho awaits news from Gov. Butch Otter to call lawmakers back for a special session to address a crisis in the state’s child support enforcement system – something that must be addressed by June 12.
Boise State University Professor Emeritus Gary Moncrief tells Boise State Public Radio that Idaho is different from most states, in that here, only the governor has the authority to call a special session, and to define the subject matter lawmakers can address. “In most states, the Legislature has to call the special session, or the Legislature and the governor have to call the special session,” Moncrief said. You can read Boise State Public Radio’s full report here, which includes a rundown of the six special sessions Idaho’s seen since 1980. Prior to 1980, the last special session of Idaho’s Legislature was a five-day June session in 1967.