Before the House broke for a mid-day break today, Speaker Scott Bedke made a special presentation to Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, the longtime House Appropriations chair who is retiring after this year – he presented her with the Idaho flag that flew over the House chamber during this year’s session. “I’m assuming you have a proper place to display it back at the ranch in Jerome,” Bedke told Bell.
“I’m assuming I didn’t do anything while I was in here to besmirch it,” Bell said, to which Bedke responded, “Absolutely not.” The House then gave Bell a standing ovation.
Bedke then also presented Idaho flags, that had flown for at least some period of time over the House chamber, to each outgoing House member this year: Reps. Burtenshaw and Cheatham, who are running for the Senate; Reps. Redman and Hartgen, who are retiring; and in absentia, Reps. Malek, Jordan and Packer, who are running for higher office. Bedke said of Packer, “You all know her circumstances; our heart goes out to her and her family with the passing of her mother here in the last few days. She’d be here if she could.” Bedke also had a flag for Rep. Hy Kloc, D-Boise, who has been out ill the whole session; he presented it to Kloc’s substitute, George Tway. “This is a hard one,” Bedke said. “We know that he would be here if he could be. ... Hy, if you’re listening, and I’ve got a feeling you are, we miss you and Godspeed.”