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Eye On Boise

JFAC co-chair faces new challenge

Sen. Shawn Keough (State of Idaho photo)
Sen. Shawn Keough (State of Idaho photo)

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, is profiled by Idaho EdNews today, which reports that the new co-chair of the Legislature’s joint budget committee and the senior member of the Idaho Senate is being targeted by a group in her district that’s more closely aligned with arch-conservative freshman Reps. Heather Scott and Sage Dixon, and distrusts the district’s longtime senator, who last year was honored for being the longest-serving female Idaho senator in history.

Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, the other co-chair of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, told EdNews reporter Kevin Richert that the rhetoric concerns her. Bell, who is in her 28th year in the Legislature and is the House’s senior member, refers to herself and Keough as “the two old babes.” It alarms her to hear critics lampoon her fellow co-chair’s Statehouse experience, and dismiss her work on JFAC as a liability. “Frankly they have no respect for any of the process,” Bell said. “She is serving this session under considerably more duress than I wish she were.”

Keough told Richert that she, Scott and Dixon work together on constituent issues. “I think we just represent different parts of our community,” she said. You can read his full report here.

Also this week, Keough is featured on the Point of Personal Privilege Podcast, in which she told hosts Melissa Davlin and Seth Ogilvie, “It’s the first time in history, if I’m remembering correctly, that the Senate finance chairman has been female, and the first time in history that both the co-chairs are female as well. So it’s a historic time, and I’m honored to be part of that history.” You can listen to the “Madame Chairman” podcast episode here.

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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