Ask a new lawmaker what their plans are for their first session and you’re likely to hear they plan to spend a lot of time listening and learning.
We appreciate that. The learning curve for new legislatures is huge, and they’re sure to learn lots from watching their more experienced colleagues.
But we ask them to please not stay too quiet for too long. Remember, the people chose you for a reason: They liked what you had to say. In 2018, voters showed loud and clear that they wanted fresh voices in Boise and in their local governments. Nearly a quarter of the legislators this session are new.
While we believe institutional knowledge is invaluable, new blood and outside perspectives are just what the statehouse needs.
In today’s Big Story, we followed around two of these new lawmakers: Laurie Lickley, a Republican from Jerome, and Muffy Davis, a Democrat from Ketchum. The two women expressed respect for the system, a bit of wonder at how fast they had to learn and a palpable excitement for the future.
“There’s just something very moving about the enormity of the responsibility that the people have put not only on our new governor, but on those of us elected to serve,” Lickley said. “And the enormous responsibility is, gosh darn, it’s awfully humbling.”
Gosh darn, indeed. Davis, too, took her new job in stride.
“It’s funny, but I also think it’s nice that we respect the formality of it because it reminds you of how important what we are doing really is,” she said. “We are setting rules for people’s lives and affecting things. Keeping that formality keeps it at the forefront of your mind that it is important work.”
It’s clear both of them are prepared for the huge task ahead. We look forward to what they, their fellow newbies and veteran lawmakers accomplish this session.