Freshman lawmakers gain experience at Idaho legislature

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- One thing that really stands out this legislative session is the number of newcomers serving at the Idaho Statehouse, freshman lawmakers such as Rep. Neil Anderson, Republican from Blackfoot.

"I thought when I came it would be important work," said Rep. Anderson, a retired financial adviser. "And it is important work, it's important for our state and our people."

And Rep. Holli High Woodings, Democrat from Boise.

"It's really rewarding to talk to my constituents who are thankful they have somebody in the Statehouse willing to speak up for their points of view," said Rep. Woodings, a former corporate lobbyist. "That's the most rewarding thing for me."

Following last year's redistricting and the retirement of numerous lawmakers, there are now three dozen new legislators at the State Capitol in Boise.

And they are dealing with issues as complex as a state health insurance exchange and the repeal of the personal property tax.

"It's a lot of information," said Woodings. "It's also a little bit of a challenge to to stay up on all of the issues that you're expected to know about, and to know which questions to ask."

And there are traditions that must be respected and toes one tries not to step on.

"Not if you can help it," said Anderson. "But we're here to serve the people, and hopefully we can do that without stepping on toes. After all, a dance is between two partners."

And the dance at the Idaho Legislature is about to hit full swing as lawmakers shoot for adjournment in late March.