Twin Falls Attorney Loses Committee Chair Position
Two moderate Republicans were dethroned from House committee chairmanships after they broke with their party mates on procedural votes this session. House Speaker Lawerence Denney announced that Rep. Leon Smith of Twin Falls was ousted from of the House Transportation Committee chair, while Rep. Tom Trail of Moscow lost his job at the helm of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. Smith will be replaced by Rep. Joe Palmer from Meridian, while Rep. Ken Andrus of Lava Hot Springs will take Trail's job. Smith and Trail regularly differ with the GOP colleagues on floor votes and side with Democrats, but Denney says that's not why he removed them. Instead, Denney said their ouster came after they didn't support Republican colleagues on procedural votes, something that's expected as a duty of leadership.