Sounds like a party to me.
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is heading to north Idaho this week for its spring interim meeting. (StateImpact has more.) The agenda includes a stop at the state’s busiest liquor store and Farragut State Park’s shooting range, as well as North Idaho College, the Bonner County Detention Facility and other areas impacted by the state’s policy and budget decisions.
All kidding about morning trips to the liquor store aside, the interim committee meetings are actually wicked-interesting for policy and budget nerds. Last fall, I tagged along on the JFAC interim fall tour in Magic Valley and got to see first hand what sort of information lawmakers get on the trips, like an update on the state’s general fund and the budget issues they need to start thinking about before the next legislative session.
(Why the liquor store? State and local government entities – like counties and schools — receive money from liquor sales in Idaho.)
There is another benefit, too. Remember, a lot of these legislators rarely travel to the far-flung parts of our giant state. Each of those geographic areas is impacted differently by the budget, so for the joint committee’s 20 members, this offers a solid opportunity to see the real-life implications of those budgets they write in January and February.
Each year, JFAC has two interim committee meetings. The one I went to didn’t include a liquor store trip, but we did get to tour the Twin Falls Chobani factory before its grand opening. (I won’t tell you which of the two I’d prefer to visit.)
Side note: Sorry for the recent radio silence on my Twitter and blog. We just moved into our new house in Boise, and I’ve been Internet-less for several days. It was harrowing, but I survived, and I’m stronger for it.