Meet the new math: Idaho's Democratic lawmakers, despite gaining several seats in the November elections, say majority Republicans aren't giving them committee assignments to match their gains. Because Democrats in the House now number 27 percent of the House (they have 19 members in the 70-person House), they expected to get a third seat on the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee to match that ratio. But, no dice: Incoming House Speaker Lawerence Denney, a Midvale Republican, opted not to give them an extra seat.
So, after making a few speeches in protest of the move, the Democrats decamped.
"You are not respecting the voters who sent us to work for them," said House Minority Leader Wendy Jaquet from Ketchum. She led the walkout, followed by every other member of the Democratic caucus.
"I don't think they are being treated unfairly," said Denney afterward.
It may not matter, in the end, to Republicans. Despite gaining six seats in the House, Democrats still don't have enough to bust up the quorum that allows the House to carry on with business. After the Democrats walked out, Denney and the remaining Republicans shrugged, gaveled in the next point of order, and continued with business for the day.