Headliners go on despite pandemic

We skipped the bacon this year. But we got the quotes

By Audrey Dutton

Last year’s Idaho Press Club legislative headliner events were among the last large gatherings some of us attended before the pandemic struck Idaho.

This year, we took the annual Governor’s Breakfast and Legislative Luncheon to Zoom.

That didn’t exactly ease our Zoom fatigue, and we missed seeing each other in person, chatting and enjoying the breakfast and lunch buffets. But this approach did have some perks:

— We could open the event to journalists and Press Club members around the state.

— We didn’t have to charge for admission.

We also scheduled the events within a week of each other — for the first time in at least a decade. This gave us the opportunity to press the executive and legislative branches for answers on the same issues, at about the same time.

Southwest Chapter board member Mike Sharp moderated the live Q&A with Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday, March 3, and with House and Senate leaders from both parties on Monday, March 8.

Dozens of you joined the calls, asking these state leaders about everything from pandemic response to education and tax policy to housing costs and minimum wage.

In case you missed the events, Southwest Chapter board member James Dawson recorded them for you. For video or audio recordings of the Governor’s Breakfast, click hereFor an audio recording (mp3) of the legislative headliner event, click here.

Audrey Dutton is a senior reporter for the Idaho Capital Sun and is the president of the Southwest Chapter of the Idaho Press Club.