Bringing the Economy Home


Representative Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) has served on the Legislature's Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee since the early 1990s.

Meet State Rep. Maxine Bell


Idaho State Legislature

Representative Maxine Bell (R-Jerome)

Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, co-chairs the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.  She’s currently serving her 12th term in the Idaho State Legislature’s House of Representatives, District 26.  Bell was born in Logan, Utah on August 6, 1931.  She’s married to H. Jack Bell. They have one son, Jeff, and three grandchildren.

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Bell graduated from the College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University.  She is a retired school librarian and farmer.  In addition to her service in the legislature, Bell served as the Woman’s Chair of the Idaho Farm Bureau from 1980-1992. She’s also been chairwoman of the Idaho Commission on Women and vice chair of Jerome County Representative Women.

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2013 Idaho Legislature Committee Chairmanships Announced

A statue of George Washington sits on the fourth floor of the Idaho Capitol.

The 2013 Idaho Legislature is ready for business.  Now that the organizational session has wrapped up, and committee assignments have been made, lawmakers will launch into what’s sure to be a packed session one month from today. Here’s a list of committee assignments for the Senate.  One of the panels we watch closely is the [...]

Idaho’s Legislature Has More Women Than Most States

Sen. Stennett is one of five women in the Idaho Senate.

The 2013 Idaho Legislature is more than a quarter women. The Legislature has actually lost three women from the previous session.  Still, the male to female split at Idaho’s Statehouse is better than the national average.  The National Conference of State Legislatures’ data show women make up 24 percent of state lawmakers nationally. So, does [...]

Idaho Has Older-Than-Average Legislature, Does Age Matter?

More than 33 percent of Idaho's 2013 legislators are new.  This week, the freshman have been going through orientation to get ready for the session.

Idaho is one of the youngest states in the country.  We’re third youngest, right behind Texas (#2) and Utah (#1).  The median age here is 34.6, according to the most recent Census.  More than 30 percent of Idaho is made up of people 19 and younger. Like most states, the people who make laws and [...]

Budget Co-Chairman Says Public Hearing is Painful but Worthwhile

Sen. Dean Cameron is co-chairman of JFAC.

Idaho budget writers will spend Friday morning listening to constituents.  The Idaho Statesman reports it’s just the second public hearing of its kind in 92 years. In 2011, Joint Finance Appropriations Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) and Sen. Dean Cameron (R-Rupert) decided to open Idaho’s budgeting process to the public.  Cameron says the idea [...]

Rep. Maxine Bell: We’re Not in a Position to Lower Taxes at This Point

1-3 Maxine Bell

The Idaho Legislature convenes January 9th.  In advance of the session, we interviewed several legislative leaders and asked them about Idaho’s economy and what the state could be doing to boost growth and job creation. Rep. Maxine Bell (R-Jerome) is co-chairman of the Joint Finance Appropriations Committee.  JFAC is the committee that crafts the annual [...]

Power Brokers: Meet Five of Idaho’s Most Influential Legislators


We’ve been asking policy makers, news media and special interest groups, “Who are the Idaho legislators with the most influence?”  The list we came up with isn’t especially scientific.  But by and large, these names came up repeatedly.  That’s not surprising because each lawmaker who made our list is either a party leader or chairperson of [...]

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