By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The Legislative Council finally named the chairmen of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee, but only after attempting to divert from the committee’s bipartisan standards.
Historically, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee is chaired by one Democrat and one Republican.
But on Tuesday, House Speaker Mike Moyle and President Pro Tem Sen. Chuck Winder attempted to appoint two Republicans to chairmen seats.
Moyle selected Reps. David Cannon, R-Blackfoot, Douglas Pickett, R-Oakley, Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, and Steve Berch, D-Boise, to serve on JLOC.
“We haven’t had the co-chair as the Republican on the House side as co-chair since I believe 2012,” Moyle told the committee.
Winder selected Sens. C. Scott Grow, R-Ada, Dave Lent, R-Idaho Falls, Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, and James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, to serve on JLOC.
Moyle suggested appointing Cannon as chairman to represent to House, and Winder suggested Grow be appointed as chair for the Senate.
Sen. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, made the motion that the committee name Cannon and Grow the JLOC co-chairs.
Rubel objected and made a substitute motion, asking that Wintrow, a Democrat, be the chair for the Senate.
“I am not aware that there has ever been a time when both chairs of JLOC have been Republican,” Rubel said. “This would be a stark departure. … It is not in keeping with the spirit or the tradition of JLOC to have both chairs be of the majority party.”
Legislative Services clarified for the Legislative Council that under state law, the chairmen must be of different parties.
Instead, the council named Cannon and Wintrow as co-chairmen of JLOC.
Members of the disabled community had been calling on the Legislative Council to meet and allow JLOC to meet. They were waiting for a report regarding the direct care workforce conducted by the Office of Performance Evaluations, but the report couldn’t be published until JLOC met.
Moyle, R-Star, told Idaho Reports on Feb. 2 that he wanted to wait to make the appointments to see if a bill regarding OPE’s oversight would pass before assigning members. The Senate is not expected to take up that bill, despite it passing the House.