By Zach Hagadone
When the first regular session of the 66th Idaho Legislature gavels into session Monday, Jan. 11 at the Statehouse in Boise, it will be a reflection of the strange COVID-19 days in which we live. Though Idaho lawmakers will meet in person in the Capitol — unlike in many other states, which have delayed their sessions or gone remote to mitigate the spread of the virus — they will be taking some precautions.
Plexiglass barriers will separate the legislators at their desks, social distancing will be maintained in committee rooms, free masks will be available and legislative staffers — though not legislators — will be required to wear face coverings while outside their offices.
Among the primary concerns for legislative officials both in Idaho and elsewhere is how to conduct the people’s business in public, providing equal access for all, while doing so safely. Luckily for Idahoans, and especially those who live far from Boise, the Gem State has long boasted a robust platform for live streaming the proceedings in the capital city. Idaho Public Television hosts every committee meeting and floor session of the House and Senate at its Idaho in Session website: idahoptv.org/shows/idahoinsession/Legislature.
Not only does IPTV feature live video of the proceedings, the Idaho in Session website includes legislative calendars, agendas and archived footage so even if viewers miss a vote, debate or testimony, they can return to it and stay informed.
The first item on the Legislature’s agenda, of course, will be Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address — his third — which will serve to open the session with a joint gathering of the House and Senate.
Also find regular analysis on Idaho Reports, IPTV’s long-running public affairs program available at idahoptv.org/shows/idahoreports, as well as in the pages of the Sandpoint Reader as we follow what is sure to be an historic session.
How to contact your legislators
District 1 Sen. Jim Woodward, R-Sagle: [email protected]; P.O. Box 151, Sagle, ID, 83860; home: 208-946-7963; Statehouse 208-332-1349 (session only)
Dist. 1A Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard: [email protected]; P.O. Box 134, Blanchard, ID, 83804; home: 208-920-3120; Statehouse: 208-332-1190 (session only)
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal