The Ways and Means Committee, according to the Idaho Legislature website, is to “used to quickly introduce legislation, usually at the end of a session.” The committee does not meet regularly, as other committees do. Instead, they meet “on call,” at the discretion of the chair. This session, the new chair is Robert Anderst (R-Nampa).
Ways and Means is where “personal bills” are introduced. As one journalist explained last year, “In Idaho, lawmakers can introduce legislation by either filing a personal bill —where they almost always die due to a lack of hearing — or introduce a bill through a legislative committee.”
Only one bill in the committee was proposed by a Republican. The title of the resolution which Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird) presented reads, “Stating findings of the Legislature and rejecting a certain rule of the Department of Health and Welfare relating to Immunization Requirements for Idaho School Children.”
The other 12 pieces of legislation in Ways and Means were proposed by Democrats. Representative Sue Chew (D-Boise) and Representative Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) acknowledged these personal bills are unlikely to “move” or get a hearing. One reason, according to Rubel, is “the public can see what you’ve been working on.”
Holly Cook is the Director of Communications for Idaho Conservatives. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Economy from the College of Idaho, has been active in Idaho politics for several years, and enjoys writing political commentary and news.