Capitol & State

Eric Milstead named Idaho Legislature's top staffer

Eric Milstead was unanimously named director of the Legislative Services Office by the bipartisan Legislative Council on Friday afternoon.

Milstead will take over the 64-employee office that provides bill-drafting, budget analysis, IT, financial and performance auditing and other services.

Milstead, 56, is a lawyer and 16-year employee of the office. He currently is deputy director of the research and legislation division. Earlier, he worked as a performance auditor and for the joint budget committee.

He succeeds Jeff Youtz, who is retiring after 36 years of staffing the Legislature. Milstead takes over Oct. 1. 

The job drew 38 applicants. On Friday, the 14-member Legislative Council interviewed four finalists before selecting Milstead.

"Eric enjoys the respect of his peers because of his great work," said House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. "We had some very qualified applicants but it was the unanimous decision of the council that he will continue the good work of LSO."

Asked if he contemplated any significant changes, Milstead said, "It's way too early for that."

Milstead has a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State and a law degree from the University of Kansas.