Friday, January 13, 2006

Good crud, What a week.

I have almost made it through my first week as a lobbyist intern. What a different world! I attended a fancy luncheon yesterday. I saw the size of the salad and thought, crud if that's the salad, the main course is going to rock!!! However, I soon discovered, that WAS the main course! Dadgummit! I reckon people with lots of power don't need a whole bunch to eat... I made the aquaintance of an older gentleman and he took the time to talk with me and offer some sage advice. He told me that if you wanted to make a name for yourself, be patient and work at a constant pace and don't try to basically ram your name down people's throats.
I sat in on some interesting meetings. Here is my summary:

Legislative week in review

For the week of January 9-13, 2006

This week started of with the Governor’s State of the State address. Some of the issues addressed were the need to redesign the Medicaid system, create a law to keep government for misusing eminent domain for gains on a private level, and to use the surplus of money the state has. He has developed a plan for the surplus which includes putting away $67million for a rainy day fund, $67million to improve parks and for prison expansion, as well as $63million in an energy rebate (a check to virtually each Idahoan for $50). To read the entire State of the State or listen

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture, ISDA, made presentations to the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee. They covered the issues of Brucellosis and the measures needed to get Idaho back to a rating of Class Free as well as animal I.D. Worker safety and protection during pesticide application was also addressed. The ISDA has a plan to broadcast via radio to Hispanic workers safety public service announcements dealing with pesticide and general safety. Noxious Weed Program Manager, Matt Voile, addressed the need for funding in fighting a new threat to Idaho’s waterways, the Eurasian Water Milfoil. Milfoil can infest rivers and lakes. This would mostly be devastating to recreational water users, but the economic costs to water users and the general public would definitely be felt as it could cost roughly $4million annually to control and hopefully rid Idaho’ waterways and lakes of this noxious weed. ESPA CREP (Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) a program to enroll up to 100,000 acres to reduce groundwater and surface water consumptive use was also explained, as well as the goals associated with the plan. (For more information please see, official website for the ISDA).

Another hot topic this week was the current status of the wolf population in Idaho. Estimates are that roughly 600 wolves are roaming our state, enough to shortly become delisted from the Endangered Species Act. The wolf packs have had an adverse affect on some Idaho elk populations, especially the Lolo and Selway regions. The Idaho Fish and Game Department has proposed cutting wolf pack numbers in the Lolo region by roughly 75%, in order to correct the problem. This measure is pending approval by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To read what the Idaho Statesman has to say on the issue please visit

Idaho State Capitol

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