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Here’s what they sent back to me: Thank you for contacting the Board of Ada County Commissioners. The contract for lobbying services is not on the agenda for Tuesday, November 28, 2023. No decisions have been made by the Board at this time. All contracts, including this contract for lobbying services, follow a prescribed approval process to ensure compliance with Idaho law.

As you are likely aware, Ada County has retained the services of a lobbying firm to assist us for a number of years now. Being a county commissioner in Idaho’s most populous county is a full-time job. Our days, and often evenings, are filled with meetings necessary for the proper operation of county government. Commissioners’ meeting schedules simply won’t allow us to be at all necessary legislative meetings and committee hearings on bills that impact Ada County.

Financial, public policy and other issues of great importance to Ada County will be discussed at the Legislature this session:

Criminal public defense reform, including the county obligation to provide child protection attorneys

Tax exemptions for non-profit hospitals

Emergency Medical Services authority and funding

Funding of court services for high profile trials

Governance and funding formulas for health districts mandated by the state

State water policy which impacts local land use planning decisions

Reimbursement to counties for state inmates in county jails

These are issues that will impact Ada County residents greatly. It is important for the county to have its interests represented well this session to ensure good public policy making.

Like all county expenses, the funds to pay for lobbyist services had to be budgeted. This spring and summer the Board of Ada County Commissioners went through the regular and extensive budgeting process and the funding for these services was approved unanimously. The county budget was approved line by line during presentations, approved again in its entirety as a Tentative Budget, and the final budget unanimously approved by the Boar

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