A three-day program for the huge number of freshman Idaho Legislators starts today at the Capitol in Boise.
After redistricting, retirements, and primary election losses for 19 Republican incumbents, the Idaho Legislative body will have many new faces for the 2023 Legislative Session that begins January 9th. The 39 first-time Representatives and Senators will have several topics to cover as they learn to navigate their jobs in representing the people as they conduct the business of the state. When you factor in members who moved between the two chambers, as well as past members being newly elected again, the number of Legislators in new positions comes to 51. With a total of 105 seats, that is nearly half the Idaho Legislative body convening in 2023.
A group of Republicans and Democrats who make up the Legislative Council will conduct the orientation, with help from the Legislative Services Office and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Parliamentary procedures, the process of drafting legislation, Capitol security, budgeting, ethics, and public records requests are on the agenda to be discussed this week. The culture of the Capitol has also been brought up as a topic to be addressed. Scott Herndon, newly elected State Senator for District 1, had this to say,
“We have a large incoming class of conservative freshmen to the Idaho Senate. I have been told that there is a culture in the senate that we will learn and adjust to. But culture is determined by the members, and I think with so many incoming conservatives, the body will discover its culture as we proceed.”
When the orientation concludes on Wednesday evening, members of each party will meet separately to elect new leadership officers.
Thursday December 1st is a very important day as the new Legislators will be sworn in by taking the Constitutional oath of office from Article III Section 25:
“The members of the legislature shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take or subscribe the following oath or affirmation:Advertisement
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator (or representative, as the case may be) according to the best of my ability.”
And such oath may be administered by the governor, secretary of state, or judge of the Supreme Court, or presiding officer of either house.”
The organizational session of December 1 will also include the official leadership votes, the leadership choices for committee chair positions, and the assignments of members to the various committees of the House and Senate.Advertisement
At the end of the week the Legislators will return to their home districts to enjoy the holidays before the 2023 Regular Legislative Session begins the second Monday of the new year.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Tags: 2023 Idaho Legislature, 2023 Legislative Session, Freshmen Legislators, Legislative Council, Legislative Services Office, National Conference of State Legislatures, New Legislator Orientation, Senator Scott Herndon