Five new appointments: Gov.-elect Brad Little has announced four staff members for the Office of the Governor in communications and government affairs. He also announced a new Division of Financial Management administrator.

Bobbi-Jo Meuleman will be the new Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Meuleman is currently director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. Meuleman worked as scheduler for Gov. Butch Otter, then as his deputy chief of staff. She lives in Boise and is a graduate of the University of Montana. Andrew Mitzel will become senior advisor of intergovernmental affairs. Mitzel was the deputy campaign manager for Little’s gubernatorial campaign. Prior to the campaign, he was political director for the Idaho REALTORS Association. Mitzel is a Meridian native and Boise State graduate. Emily Callihan will serve as director of communications. Callihan is the current public information officer at the Idaho Department of Lands. She is from Boise and graduated from the University of Idaho. Marissa Morrison will become press secretary. Morrison worked as a reporter for KIVI Six On Your Side in Nampa before taking a job as a strategic communications specialist at Bilbao & Co. Morrison is a Pocatello native and Gonzaga University graduate.

“I am excited to announce these key members of my team,” Little said. “It is important to me that I fill my office with people I trust and know are dedicated to advancing the State of Idaho. I have working relationships with each of these new hires, and I am confident they are up to the task.” 

Alex Adams will become the next administrator of the Idaho Division of Financial Management (DFM). “Alex has a proven record of leadership as executive director at the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy. He is someone who shares my vision of being fiscal conservative and embraces my promise of ensuring only the lightest possible hand of government,” said Little. “DFM is a critical part of Idaho state government.  Alex will be working closely with all the branches and agencies of state government, leading a team that ensures Idaho delivers a balanced budget that best serves the people of Idaho.”

“I am honored to accept this appointment and I look forward to tackling the challenges that come with this important role. It will be an honor to work alongside Governor-elect Little, Legislators and agencies to ensure the right budgets are set to be effective, and work at the best interest of my fellow Idahoans,” said Adams. For more information about the transition visit govelect.idaho.gov.

Wyden, Crapo introduce funding legislation. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, have introduced legislation to provide financial certainty for rural counties to ensure they have the long-term funding needed for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and other essential services.

The bipartisan Forest Management for Rural Stability Act makes the Secure Rural Schools program—which expired at the end of FY 2018—permanent by creating an endowment fund to provide stable, increasing and reliable funding for county services.

“Establishing a growing endowment for the Secure Rural Schools program will end the need for short-term or retroactive reauthorizations of this program.”said Crapo. “The Secure Rural Schools program has become vital in budgeting for essential services in Idaho’s forested counties with large tracts of tax-exempt federal lands. This endowment will stabilize the program for generations and maintain the important link between economic growth and forest management in our forested counties, while ending the perpetual temporary band-aids that create instability and uncertainty. In the coming year, I will work with Senator Wyden to advance and refine today’s proposal by gathering the input of other stakeholders and our Senate colleagues. The Secure Rural Schools program is important to dozens of states and this proposal should receive strong, bipartisan support.”