The 2010 and 2011 Idaho legislative sessions were marked by scores of Gem State citizens making their way to the Statehouse to offer heartfelt and often heartbreaking testimony before the Legislature's budget-writers: the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee.
But apparently, the Republican leadership doesn't want a repeat of that, and instructed JFAC chairpersons to cancel public hearings, which had been tentatively slated for Friday, Feb. 1 and Friday, Feb. 8.
Rupert Republican Sen. Dean Cameron, JFAC co-chair, was visibly troubled by the decision when he announced it this morning:
"We will do as instructed," said Cameron, adding that he thought the previous public hearings were "very successful."
"Hopefully, at some future stage, we'll be able to hold public hearings again," he said.