b'2022 WPMA State ReportIDAHO Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association ReportOverviewGovernors on the second floor of the Statehouse. His successors will bring differ-What to Look ent personalities, but their political leanings will be For in the consistent with the recent past, and will no doubt bring 2023 Legislativethem a new challenge: a wild and unruly GOP caucus. The Session Democrat caucus, still small, has an opportunity to link Suzanne Budge2022 Election Cycle Changesarms with more moderate IPM&CSAExecutive Director the Map but not the Balance ofRepublicans on some issues. Power in Idaho Time will tell if either jumps at that opportunity. General Elections / Legislative Update Ballot Initiative - Should Statewide RacesFederal & Constitutionalthe Legislature be able to Offices: At the top of the ticket, generalcall themselves into session? elections in Idaho followed historical norms Voters say Yes a statewide GOP sweep of all CongressionalSJR102, the ballot initiative and Statewide offices and most of these racesto allow the legislature to were determined in May, following some hotlycall themselves in to session contested GOP primaries. Governor Little andunder certain conditions, the rest cruised to easy victory, all with morepassed 52% to 48%. This was than 60% majorities. The candidate with the widest marginsurprising given the orga-at 72% was the newest and the youngest: Phil McGrane hadnized and well-funded effort already prevailed in a hotly contested three-way primary forto defeat the measure, driven Secretary of State, and won Tuesday with 416,439 votes.by the states largest business Governor Little had the lowest level of support with 356,490organization, IACI. Former Governor Butch Otter was an votes, and a margin of 60%. Attorney General candidateoutspoken, and oft interviewed, opponent, but neither he Raul Labrador received 365,061 votes (62%), despite a lastnor IACI managed to stop the measure. This outcome was ditch effort to defeat the former Congressman, which includ- unexpected. Conventional wisdom predicted voters would ed many well-known former Republican officials.vote NO on something they didnt fully understand or Legislative Races: The Idaho legislature will experiencecare about. This may be a reflection of rural Idahos linger-historic turnover while retaining its GOP supermajority ining discontent with the pandemic emergency measures of both houseswhich is not to say that the Republican caucusthe past three years. Apparently, that COVID hangover in House or Senate will walk in lockstepfar from it. Whilehasnt fully worn off, even though Brad Little prevailed with once-in-a-decade redistricting shook up the legislative dis- a 60.51% vote of support on November 8th. trict map, the balance of power did not change a bit. In theIdahos Fiscal FutureThe Economic Outlook SlowsSenate, Republicans still hold 28 seats and Democrats holdAfter three solid years of back to back to back economic 7. In the House, Republicans retain 58 seats, with 12 for thegrowth, historic budget surpluses and a deluge of federal Democrats. Now thats remarkable given all the new legisla- funds, Idahos revenue stream has finally slowed. It was tive districts, and the many retirements and primary electionprobably inevitable, as the first several months of the new defeats. The balance of power is the same, but with a mixfiscal year brought in revenues that lagged predictions. If of new players. Only 60 sitting legislators will return to thethe trend continues, legislators will be more cautious about building in 2023, and the turnover exceeds 50% becausespending money as they look to the future and the economic some of these will be new to the body they join in January,stability of state coffers. Unlike the federal government, the having switched from the House to the Senate.Idaho constitution requires a balanced budget.2023 SessionPredictably unpredictable: Dont be fooledThe slowdown comes after three straight years of Idahos by these numbers. The 2023 Idaho legislature is more likelyrevenue exceeding projections, and the additional huge than not to be one of the more unpredictable (perhaps eventranche of federal money that landed in Idahos coffers chaotic?) sessions we have seen in years. Republicans in thethroughout the pandemic. Idaho is well positioned to face a Senate are likely to be more right-leaning, perhaps foretell- possible downturn in the economy, as the state has squir-ing a shift in leadership. Leadership in the House is certainreled away several piggy banks in the form of reserve to change, as Speaker Bedke will now move from his 3rdaccounts, and these are all flush as we look to perhaps a new floor corner office behind the House chambers to the Lt.trajectory for a more austere financial outlook. 14 www.wpma.com / Winter 2022'