If you look at legislative agendas (see link at right) you'll see a lot of notes that the committee will meet at the call of the chair. That is to say the committee room sits empty and the secretary may be wrapping up committee minutes or doing other tasks (and, on a side note, yes, as far as I know all the committee secretaries are female. Four of our committee Chairs in the House are also female: Jo An Wood in Transportation, Lenore Barrett for Local Government, Sharon Block in Health & Welfare, and Maxine Bell as chair of the House's most powerful committee, Appropriations. In the Senate only Patti-Anne Lodge is a committee chair and in all, only six of the Senate's 35 members are women.)
So, call of the chair is a suspended state of non-animation. There may be back room meetings, like that this morning to discuss transportation. Or there may be a bill coming from the Senate or a bill that the Senate wants which won't get a hearing until the Senate passes something else. That would be the case with Public Transportation Funding right now. Tomorrow morning we finally will see a hearing on a bill AUTHORIZING (not just limiting as the constitutional amendment does) the use of voter approved local option taxes perhaps for pubic transportation and roads. I'm not sure what exactly we'll let local people vote to raise their own sales tax for. I've not seen the bill since several have been proposed and counter proposed, trying to please Republican leadership in the house. I'm fascinated to learn if the crafters of the constitutional amendment will allow the Treasure Valley or others to begin work on funding public transit systems this year or if everyone must now wait a whole year more until November 2009 after this constitutional amendment passes statewide this election year.