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Boise, ID 83720-0081

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Boise Idaho Senator Michelle Stennett, Idaho State Senate Minority Leader

News Blog

Rules Matter

Michelle Stennett

                                                                       June 22, 2019

"An elite class that is free to operate without limits - whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior - is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power." - Glenn Greenwald

Your participation in our governing process is vital to making sure our government is serving all of us well.  Rules are part of this process and Idaho needs your help in shaping our rules and holding us accountable to them.




Usually the Idaho legislature takes action each session to approve our state's administrative rules.  These rules govern a wide variety of matters, such as education, pollution, hunting and so on.  In the 2019 session, the Legislature failed to approve these rules.  This has set off an unprecedented review of all of our rules.


Governor Little has taken this as an opportunity to remove outdated and unnecessary rules.  He and his agencies are proposing to remove about one-third of our current rules. Here is the Division of Financial Management's guide to their process.


While I support streamlining the rules where appropriate, it is important to make sure the changes being made are fully understood.  And that's where you come in.  The sheer volume of rule changes this year can be overwhelming.  I urge you to pick an area you are interested in and take a look at the changes.  Make sure you believe those changes are in the best interests of the people of Idaho.  If you have any concerns, please participate in the public comment period.


Representative Sally Toone wrote an excellent editorial on this issue if you would like to read further:  





To keep legislative sessions running smoothly we have a number of internal rules.  These rules govern things like when and how bills are introduced.  They are important to keeping us on schedule so that we conduct your business in a timely way.  They are also important in helping us remain civil in the face of often controversial issues.


Unfortunately, during the 2019 session, these internal rules were not always followed.  And the session went over time and ended with some acrimony.  During the session, the House Minority Leadership called for all legislators to follow our rules.


I am a member of Legislative Council which oversees the management of the legislature.  This topic was discussed at our last meeting and I hope that in future sessions, we will abide by our own rules.  I invite you to be engaged and make us accountable for doing so.