Good morning! Welcome to Morning Roundup, a semi-regular feature where I will post the latest reporting about the Legislature and Idaho politics from the Post Register, the Idaho Press and other local and national media outlets and try to preview at least some of what is expected to come up later in the day. Trying to make it easy for those of you who don’t have time to click between a half-dozen different websites.
Gov. Brad Little is not asking lawmakers for a work requirement or other restrictions as a condition for Medicaid expansion, but his budget chief told lawmakers Tuesday morning he hasn’t ruled it out, either. This is expected to be controversial, as the Democrats and Medicaid expansion advocates are strongly opposed to work requirements and the Republican chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee isn’t sold on the idea, either. (Post Register)
House Speaker Scott Bedke introduced the first bill of the session Tuesday morning, dealing with water rights in the Treasure Valley. (Post Register)
Sen. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, who just resigned to become new U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher’s chief of state, has a temporary replacement — his mom, Regina. It’s a bit of a family tradition for them — his father also served in the House in the 1980s. (Idaho Press)
Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who used to be a House member representing Idaho Falls, presided over the Senate for the Tuesday. It was technically her second time doing so — the Senate gaveled in briefly Monday before heading over to hear Little’s State of the State — but her first regular Senate session. (Idaho Press)
The Change in Employee Compensation Committee met Tuesday afternoon to discuss Little's proposal for 3 percent raises for state workers. A decision is expected next week. (Idaho Press)
USA Today profiled Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, who on Tuesday was named chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It describes Risch as a “Trump loyalist” and “a low-key legislator,” but also predicts he will clash with Trump on some issues.
“Every indication that we have is that Sen. Risch adheres to the traditional pro-trade, tough-on-bad-guys wing of … the Republican Party,” said Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
And Idaho congressmen Mike Simpson and Fulcher have introduced a bill for a third federal district judge in Idaho. (Post Register.)
Things are still a bit slow as the Capitol, as many committees aren’t meeting yet or are just holding their organizational meetings and there aren’t many bills to deal with. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is meeting already and plans to keep going over the state’s finances Wednesday morning. A few other committees are starting the administrative rules review process, which can occupy much of the first few weeks of the session.
Wednesday afternoon, the entire Legislature will be in an “Ethics and Respectful Workplace” training. One session will focus on ethics, conflicts of interest and campaign finance questions, and one will be on harassment and on the respectful workplace policy that the Legislative Council adopted late last year.