Idaho Business Poll Suggests State Lawmakers Are Out Of Touch

May 12, 2021

A Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry poll is critical of issues the state legislature has focused on this session.
Credit Screenshot from Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry

Today [Wednesday] the Idaho legislature returns to Boise after a five-day break. Lawmakers are close to finishing their 2021 session.

An Idaho business group says it’s time for lawmakers to finally end what is now the longest session in state history.

The group last week released a poll it says shows the priorities of lawmakers no longer match the priorities of the people.

The poll was commissioned by the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. Alex LeBeau is the organization’s president.

“There are a number of things that have been happening in the Idaho legislature that have caused us some great concern about some of the direction that they’re moving and we wanted to go out and see if they were truly reflective of the will of Republican primary voters," he said.

So the association surveyed some of those voters, 400 of them, 80% of whom identify as conservative, 19% as moderate.

The poll found the three top priorities of those voters were fully funding public schools, providing money for long-term infrastructure projects and cutting property taxes.

LeBeau says the legislature has balked on some of those and spent considerable time on other issues, such as rebalancing the power dynamic between the governor and the legislature and prohibiting schools from teaching critical race theory.

Now that the legislature is in day 122, he says it’s time for elected leaders to quick wrap up.

“I think the legislators, specifically, need to go back to their constituents and they need to go back to their social media accounts and they have to recognize the fact that perhaps they’re only responding to a very loud minority which is causing an echo chamber which is creating a bad policy," LeBeau said.

He says he hopes legislators will pay some attention to this poll because the people who responded are the people most likely to vote in primary elections.