Chuck Malloy is a political writer for Idaho Politics Weekly and veteran journalist. Malloy joined Neal Larson on KID Newsradio to talk about the upcoming 2018 Idaho Legislative Session, the current gubernatorial campaigns throughout the state and Governor Otter’s State of the State address.
You can listen to the full interview below.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Ahead of the 2018 Idaho Legislative session, Chuck Malloy, veteran journalist and writer for Idaho Politics Weekly, says he isn’t expecting a lively session and instead foresees a more aggressive push to the campaign trail.
“I’m not sure how productive this session will be,” Chuck Malloy, a writer for Idaho Political Daily, told KID Newsradio. “I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a whole lot of political posturing and preening going on through the session…I’m expecting them to try to get their work done as quickly as possible, to try to get out and hit the campaign trail…I don’t think around here you could swing a dead cat without hitting somebody who has high political ambition.”
Part of that political push will come in the upcoming race for the governor’s seat, a primary election, Malloy says, that represents one of the most unique races in decades.
“This is a very unique year,” Malloy said. “In the past, governors have been… more anointed then elected, you know, ‘it’s so-and-so’s turn to be governor,’ so therefore he’s governor, but this is the first primary in 40 years that there’s been any kind of suspense in a primary campaign.”
But, Malloy also acknowledges there are some hot ticket items likely to hit the legislative session early this year, the grocery tax repeal bill, for example.
“It appears it will be coming up early this year, instead of late like it was last year,” Malloy said. “People have been kind of waiting for some kind of an analysis of what the federal tax cuts would have on Idaho…according to the tax commission, it’s going to be maybe a negative for Idaho tax payers, but a positive for the state revenues, to the tune of $100 million.”
Malloy says he is curious to see if Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, who previously vetoed the bill, changes his mind on the issue since Idaho’s revenue looks to gain in the federal tax bill what it might have lost in grocery tax revenue.
“It seems like repeal of the grocery tax would be a fairly easy thing to do, as far as, well maybe taking away some of the revenue and giving back to the tax payer,” Malloy said.
The 2018 Legislative Session kicks off Monday, January 8 with Governor Otter’s State of the State address.