Idaho lawmakers say there will be no more secret meetings of a group working on state tax policy – all meetings from this point on will be open to the public and follow notice requirements of the Idaho Open Meeting Law. The panel, with 11 of its 12 House and Senate members present, met on Sept. 17 at the state Capitol’s Senate GOP caucus chambers, with only a paper notice posted before the meeting in the basement of the Capitol. All other legislative task forces and interim committees – there are 10, dealing with everything from broadband access to urban renewal – have been meeting publicly, with their sessions streamed live online and agendas posted on the internet well before each gathering.
You can read my full story here at spokesman.com. Senate Tax Chairman Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, who is co-chairing the Tax Working Group with House Tax Chairman Gary Collins, R-Nampa, said the two co-chairs made the decision to open it up.
“At the start, it was a conversation more than anything else,” said Eric Milstead, director of Idaho’s Legislative Services Office. “But it kind of morphed into something more formal.” Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, a member of the group and an attorney, said, “It’s clear they’re public meetings, and we should have good publicity for them, and so I’m glad they’re going to correct that.”