Idaho Lawmakers

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio/ StateImpact Idaho

For the second time in nearly two decades, 31 members of Idaho's state lawmakers are women.

On Election Day, Idaho voters picked the 31 female lawmakers to hold legislative offices across the state. There are 105-members in the predominantly-Republican Idaho Legislature.

Nine women will serve in the Senate, while 22 women will hold seats in the House.

Eleven of the women are Democrats, and the remaining 20 are Republicans.

Stethescope, Health Care, Doctor, Medical
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are eligible for the same health care benefits as full-time state employees even though they are considered part-time workers.

The Idaho Statesman reports that 90 out of Idaho's 105 lawmakers are enrolled in the state's health care plan. State records show that 30 of the 35 Senate members and 60 of the 70 House members are enrolled.

The 14 percent opt-out rate inside the Legislature is higher than the state's workforce, where just about 8 percent of employees don't take the state-provided benefits.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A special citizen panel has approved increasing Idaho's basic legislative salaries over the next two years.

The Citizens Committee on Legislative Compensation agreed on Wednesday to bump state lawmaker pay by 2 percent each year until 2018. This means the annual pay for state lawmakers will jump from roughly $16,680 to around $17,350.

However, daily session expenses will remain the same. Lawmakers living within 50 miles of the Capitol will continue to receive $49 a day when the Idaho Legislature is in session, while those living farther away will stay at $129 a day.

Idaho Capitol, statehouse
Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho taxpayers footed a bill of nearly $250,000 to cover expenses for lawmakers traveling to and from Boise during the 2015 legislative session.

Taxpayers paid an additional $50,000 for lawmakers to travel outside the state over the past fiscal year.

The Associated Press obtained the information through a public records request for travel reimbursements for the past year for all 105 state lawmakers in the House and Senate.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In the last 35 years, Idaho has only had six special legislative sessions. And it's been almost a decade  since the last one.

Idaho's next special session could be just around the corner because the state is out of compliance with changes to federal child support programs. 

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers will once again review state employee salaries as they continue to fall behind market rates.

The Spokesman-Review reports that a joint panel, made up of members from the Idaho House and Senate, will convene next Thursday to discuss compensation, turnover and employee morale.

The panel will submit a recommendation to the Idaho Legislature by Jan. 16 after reviewing reports and proposals from the governor, budget writers and evaluators.