Transportation issues to be a focal point
as Legislature reconvenes Monday
Economics, budget and transportation.
Three interrelated topics will be the focal point as legislators convene next week to set direction for Idaho state government in the coming year. Next week they will join counterparts in nearly every state in the country in addressing the economic downturn, declining tax revenue, rising unemployment and unprecedented infrastructure demands.
As has been the case the past three sessions, transportation issues will be a major emphasis when the 2009 Legislative session begins Monday. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter will address both chambers at 3 p.m. when he presents his annual State of the State and Budget Address at the Boise State University Special Event Center.
The comprehensive Office of Performance Evaluation (OPE) report – focusing on ITD management and performance, contractor selection and oversight, and outsourcing – will be released Jan. 19 to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee.
The Legislature approved a joint resolution authorizing the audit in the closing days of the 2008 session. Legislators also allocated $550,000 to conduct the review. OPE contracted with Avant IMC and Robert Williams to conduct the audit which was conducted last fall and completed in December.
The House and Senate Transportation committees will meet the following day, Jan. 20, to discuss the performance audit.
ITD administrators is scheduled to present an overview of the department, its FY 2009 accomplishments and efficiencies to members of the House and Senate Germaine Committee on Jan. 22 at 1:30 p.m. in the JR Williams basement conference room.
They will present the ITD FY 2010 budget request to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Feb. 12. JFAC, which considers all state budget requests and makes recommendations to the full Legislature, will begin the budget-setting process Feb. 23.
ITD will introduce nine Legislative bills ranging from right of way acquisition, transportation access management commercial drivers licenses and seat belt violation court costs. Staff members also will introduce eight rules, beginning Wednesday (Jan. 14) in the House Transportation Committee.
Gov. Otter recently announced the selection of Emmett Sen. Brad Little as Idaho’s new lieutenant governor (see related story). Little replaces Jim Risch who was elected to the U.S. Senate. As lieutenant governor, Little will preside over the Idaho Senate. The lieutenant governor also will fill in for the governor when the latter is out of the state and performs other duties at the direction of the governor.