Lobby Day: February 17-18, 2015

Lobby Day 2015 will be Wednesday, February 18. The “Taste of Idaho Outfitting” reception for Legislators and other invited guests will be at the Basque Center, 6th and Grove, in Boise from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening. Tentatively, there will be food prep and orientation on Tuesday, February 17th.

History of IOGA Presence at the Idaho Statehouse

The purpose of the mid-February IOGA Lobby Days is to make contact with elected leaders, share and gather information related to industry issues. Lobby Days begins with afternoon food preparation and an evening member orientation on current issues. A short but informative session with a legislator or lobbyist is oftentimes a feature of the orientation. The following day a crew of IOGA volunteers and the IOGA Office manager continue food preparation while other members join the IOGA Executive Director and its lobbyist in making both formal and informal contact with elected leaders at the Idaho Statehouse. The “Taste of Idaho Outfitting†reception at the Basque Center in downtown Boise features wild game and fish recipes, breads, salads, desserts and assorted beverages. Approximately 125 persons enjoy this reception, which is one of the most popular events during the legislative session. Leftovers are donated to appropriate organizations.

A logical step to being proactive at the Idaho Statehouse has been IOGA employment of a professional lobbyist to augment volunteer and staff efforts to monitor the legislature on 24/7 basis when the legislature is in Boise between early January and late March/early April. IOGA lobbyists have been John Watts (1995-2002), Brad Hoaglun (2003-2004) and the firm of Risch Pisca (2005-present) with Jeremy Pisca and associates Ben Davenport followed by Tyler Mallard. The IOGA lobbyist works closely with IOGA Executive Director John May. Legislative reports authored by the IOGA lobbyist are forwarded to the IOGA membership frequently during the winter months when the Legislature is in session.

The success of IOGA Lobby Days is largely due to the excellent overall coordination and involvement of member volunteers and the IOGA Staff. A consistent membership presence at the Statehouse each winter is invaluable. Legislators are more likely to call a local outfitter to seek information on a specific issue, contact IOGA staff and/or our professional lobbyist before casting a vote because of IOGA's consistent presence at the Statehouse each winter that builds and maintains relationships, trust and communication. An industry presence is much cheaper through IOGA membership rather than an individual member having to hire a lobbyist. One might say that one sign of success of IOGA's legislative monitoring efforts in that nothing bad has occurred through the years that could lead to unreasonable regulation or economic harm to the industry. IOGA has an effective system for monitoring the legislature that is constantly tweaked.

We urge members to participate in Lobby Days, an uplifting, fun and signature IOGA event!