IVMA Government Relations Specialist

IVMA Government Relations Specialist

In January 2017, the board signed a contract with government relations specialist, Mr. Martin Bilbao. Martin had worked with the IVMA in 2015 when the IVMA came to an agreement with the Idaho Humane Society; regarding the care and services delivered by a nonprofit veterinary organization. Martin has been instrumental to the IVMA’s cause by actively lobbying for the one time additional fee to raise necessary funds for the IBOVM to pay for a new software system. In the 2017 Interim and 2018 legislative session, Martin was able to prevent fee increases by working with the Board of Pharmacy.

Communications and Events
Regular communication with IVMA executive committee during the Idaho State Legislature
Interacts with the IVMA Board as needed depending on the issue
Attend IVMA Board Meetings
Attend IVMA Annual Conference
Provides IVMA newsletter updates
Attends Idaho Humane Society and IVMA meeting regarding MOU
Attended IVMA membership recruitment dinner

IVMA Recent Legislative Wins

2015 Legislative Session
Bilbao and IVMA representatives worked with the Idaho Human Society and its lobbyist to secure the current Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities. This MOU was a compromise so the IVMA did not have to introduce a piece of legislation. The draft piece of legislation previously discussed would have been very difficult to pass in the Idaho State Legislature and why the MOU was such an important compromise.
Bilbao continues to attend meetings with the IVMA, IHS and its lobbyist to ensure compliance of the MOU.

2017 Legislative Session
Going into the session IVMA was expecting to only monitor legislation, most notably a bill to be introduced by the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine regarding increased fees, which the IVMA supported. During the first month and a half of the session we patiently waited for the bill to receive an introductory hearing which it never did. Around mid-February it became apparent that there were issues with the legislation and that the IVMA would have to fully engage in the process to get things moving. On March 2, HB 229 was introduced in the House Agricultural Affairs Committee. Even after the introductory hearing, it was apparent many legislators had issues with the bill and it was not going to move forward.

We had several conversations with the Chair and Vice Chair of the germane committee, along with BOVM staff and the Director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. These conversations proved to be very helpful and we were able to identify the most important need from the BOVM and an increase fee amount that would be palatable to legislators.
In the end we were able to introduce HB 293 that would increase the fee one time an additional $110 to raise the necessary funds for the IBOVM to pay for a new software system. This compromise came extremely late in the session and we had to pull out all the tricks to ensure complete passage through both bodies. Without the support, assistance and active lobbying efforts by the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association the increased fee legislation would not have passed.