3 Things You Should Know Right Now About the Idaho Legislature — Rialin Flores

Did you know?

Idaho is one of a few states where administrative rules from state departments like Environmental Quality and Fish and Game have to be approved by the legislature. Unfortunately this process often leads to political decision over sound policy recommendations.

So far, most of the legislative session has been focused on these rules.

Trapping Rule:
The House Resources committee rejected an Idaho Department of Fish and Game rule to increase education programs for people who plan to trap. Lack of training on trapping can lead to accidents and trapping of the wrong animals. Idaho most recently came under scrutiny because of the continual trapping of the Lynx in Northern Idaho (read more here).

Clean Water Rule:
The state is tasked with setting water quality standards to protect us from toxic stuff like mercury. As part of this process the state determines how much fish Idahoans eat, in order to determine the level of exposure from toxics we get from the fish (read more here). However, not everyone eats the same amount of fish. Some populations eat more fish than others for example tribal populations. DEQ is proposing a rule that puts tribal members and those that eat more fish at risk; unfortunately the Senate Resources Committee approved this rule yesterday. Salmon Leap

The rules process has things moving fairly slow so far. Overall the mood around the capitol is a positive one- this may be my rose-colored first day glasses, but remember it’s only week two. We’ve got a lot more days of session ahead.

If you’d like to listen in on all the rule making fun that’s going on in the committee rooms- check out the live audio streaming here.