IDAHO, USA — The first session of the 67th Idaho Legislature starts Monday January 9 with Governor Brad Little's State of the State Address.
As a last order of business in 2022, lawmakers came to the Capitol Building in Boise recently for orientation. First, former Speaker of the House, Republican Scott Bedke of Oakley, was elected lieutenant governor in November. That means he will serve as president of the senate. Senator Chuck Winder of Meridian retains his role as senate president pro tem by a unanimous vote. Representative Mike Moyle of Star was elected as the new speaker of the house after serving as house majority leader.
On the other side of the aisle, the Democrats once again elected Representative Ilana Rubel of Boise as house minority leader. Senator Melissa Wintrow of Boise takes over as senate minority leader for Senator Michelle Stennett who is retiring.
Right now, lawmakers and their leaders are setting priorities. The Republicans will once again hold a super majority in both houses. So, they will drive the agenda.
Here's how it break downs. The State Legislature's website shows Republicans hold 28 seats in the Senate. The Democrats hold only seven. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 59 to 11.
Also, there has been a lot of turnover in the legislature because of redistricting and retirements. There will be 40 brand new legislators among the 105 total.
Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder and new Speaker of the House Mike Moyle laid out the Republican priorities for the 2023 legislative session.
"Well, I think they're always the same, basically," Sen. Chuck Winder said. "They're dealing with less government, trying to reduce regulation, trying to reduce taxation, provide for individual liberties. I think those are all the main pieces of legislation you'll see come through. Some will pass. Some won't."
"I think you're going to have the same, some of the old ones, like property tax," Speaker Mike Moyle said. "We'll keep nipping away at that, trying to get some more relief there. You're going to have some issues people aren't talking about, too. Medicaid, for example. Medicaid expansion is up for review this year. Medicaid surpassed public education school funding last year. We've got to get our hands around that. So I'm hoping we can do some things there to stop that from breaking the state, basically."
You can watch the full Viewpoint with Speaker Moyle and Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder this Sunday morning at 9 o'clock on KTVB.
The following Sunday Democratic leaders in both the house and senate will appear on Viewpoint to talk about their priorities for the legislative session.
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