The House and Senate local government committees will see important changes, including new committee chairs, for the upcoming legislative session beginning in January.
These committees are two of the most important from the perspective of Idaho cities and consider legislation on land use and annexation, among other topics. You can check out the House and Senate committee rosters on the Idaho Legislature's website.
The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee will now be chaired by Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, who takes the reins from longtime Chairman Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton. Siddoway will remain as a member of the committee.
Siddoway moves to chair the Senate State Affairs Committee, which tackles some of the more controversial policy areas including abortion, gun rights, alcohol, gambling and elections. The State Affairs chair position was vacated due to Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, leaving the Legislature to campaign for a position on the Idaho Supreme Court, which he lost to Robyn Brody.
Johnson is in his fourth term in the Idaho Senate and serves as the Solid Waste Manager for the City of Lewiston.
The Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee will also see the return of Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. Hill is a veteran of the committee and served as its Chairman prior to his election as Pro Tem, but has been off the committee for the past two years. The committee will see two new members: Sen. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, replaces Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-Inkom; and Sen. Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, replaces Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum.
The House Local Government Committee will also see a new chair as Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, takes the helm at the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee, which was open due to the primary election defeat of veteran legislator and chairman Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry.
The House Local Government Committee will now be chaired by Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, who previously chaired the House Ways & Means Committee.
The Ways & Means Committee, which serves the Speaker of the House and is used to quickly introduce or stop legislation, will now be chaired by Rep. Robert Anderst, R-Nampa.
Six new members will be on the House Local Government Committee, including Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett; Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird; Rep. Mike Kingsley, R-Lewiston; Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello; Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls; and Rep. Sue Chew, D-Boise.