Idaho Legislature wraps up session that ends with acrimony

The Idaho Legislature wrapped up business Thursday amid acrimony between the House and Senate.

The two chambers adjourned for the year but not before the Senate killed legislation that would have provided money to build better offices for representatives in the Statehouse.

The House a short time later sent key legislation involving some 8,000 pages of administrative rules to a committee to die — a move with potentially serious ramifications. That bill was at the center of a fight between the two chambers involving the state’s obscure though time-consuming rulemaking process.

Among the most notable, and contentious, legislation involved lawmakers adding work and other requirements to the voter-approved Medicaid expansion.

Both chambers also passed legislation making it much tougher to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot.

Ultimately, though, Republican Gov. Brad Little vetoed that bill.

Some low-key but significant legislation involving water passed.

One involved legislation to end years of litigation and help finalize a settlement agreement involving water rights in heavily populated southwestern Idaho.

Another bill that became law is intended to preserve a historic water agreement between two sets of water users to prevent declines in the Lake Erie-sized Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer relied on by farmers and cities.

Lawmakers also raised teacher salaries and boosted money spent on public schools. (AP)