Labrador not only alum lobbying on Idaho-run exchange: Janice McGeachin back in the dome

Former House Health & Welfare Committee Chairwoman Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls, was back in Boise on Wednesday leading a session for freshman lawmakers on the Affordable Care Act.

McGeachin was a strong opponent of a state-based health exchange. Last year, she threatened to use her power as chairman to kill any bill referred to her committee.

That never happened, because Gov. Butch Otter backed away in the face of House opposition, including that of then-Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale.

But Otter has revived the effort, making it the signature issue of the 2013 session, with the help of the man who deposed Denney, Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley.

McGeachin was back in the House GOP caucus room Wednesday afternoon, again carrying her trademark 5-inch-think binder on the law.

Unlike Congressman Raul Labrador’s one-on-one lobbying of two freshman Republicans last week, McGeachin’s pitch was an open-door affair. Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, said he invited McGeachin to help fill in freshman lawmakers.

Among those who attended were freshman GOP Reps. Cindy Agidius of Moscow, Neil Anderson of Blackfoot, Robert Anderst of Nampa, Lance Clow of Twin Falls, Tom Dayley of Boise, Doug Hancey of Rexburg, Wendy Horman of Idaho Falls, Steven Miller of Fairfield, Jason Monks of Meridian, Thyra Stevenson of Lewiston and Janet Trujillo of Idaho Falls.

At least two senior lawmakers also attended, House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, and Pete Nielsen of Mountain Home.

McGeachin  retired from the Legislature last year to focus on running her new business, an Irish pub in downtown Idaho Falls called The Celt.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Idaho Politics