The heavy turnover in a post-redistricting election means 44 of 105 Idaho legislators qualify as "new," according to the count of the Legislative Services Office.
Of those are 13 new senators and 31 new representatives. The count includes nine House veterans moving to the Senate, as well as three lawmakers appointed to serve in the 2012 session and one appointed in August.
The group begins three days of meetings at noon Monday with a lunch hosted by Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale.
The orientation includes 30,000-feet-stuff: BSU's Gary Moncrief on how Idaho's process compares to other legislatures; Idaho's tax structure with Tax Commissioner and former House Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts; and Hill and Rep. Rich Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, on decorum, civility and rules.
There's also nuts-and-bolts that help turn the legislative grinder: how bills are drafted and computers and online resources, with LSO staff; the work of committees with Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, and Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Stennett of Ketchum.
Day three on Wednesday is titled, "Law School for Legislators," and includes conflict of interest, bribery and corruption laws, lobbying and Sunshine laws, the latter with Secretary of State Ben Ysursa presenting.
There's even a mud-wrestling session on Tuesday, "Working with the Media," featuring Idaho Public TV's Peter Morrill, John Miller from the Associated Press, Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review and some hack called Dan Popkey from the Idaho Statesman.
After a 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. reception in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday, the groups will head to dinner with their respective party caucuses in the House and Senate to elect new leaders. The formal votes will be Thursday, when the organizational session convenes at 9 a.m. The regular session begins Jan. 7, with Gov. Butch Otter's seventh State of the State Address.
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