Idaho House Seeks to Revise Mandatory Minimums

On February 6, 2019, State Representatives Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) and Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls) introduced House Bill 99 (H0099), which seeks to amend “existing law to revise provisions regarding sentences for trafficking of controlled substances.”

According to the statement of purpose, H0099 “provides for judicial discretion in such sentencing in instances where the prescribed minimum sentence would result in manifest injustice, and where the prescribed minimum sentence is not deemed necessary for the protection of the public.” Current law requires mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking offenses.

Given this legislation is intended to only directly affect the judicial sentencing process, little to no negative impact is anticipated to the General Fund. However, according to the bill’s fiscal note, there is potential for “savings to the Department of Corrections expenditures if judges choose to order shorter sentences in some instances, but such potential savings cannot be quantified at this time.”

The Idaho House passed House Bill 99 on March 4, 2019, with a vote of 48-21-1. The following day, H0099 was referred to the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee.

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Bill Details

Number: H0099 (2019)
Text | Statement of Purpose

Sponsor(s):
Representative Ilana Rubel (D-Boise)
Representative Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls)

Co-Sponsor(s):
Rep. Chris Abernathy (D – Pocatello), Rep. Sue Chew (D – Boise), Rep. Muffy Davis (D – Ketchum), Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt (R – Eagle), Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R – Idaho Falls), Rep. Mathew Erpelding (D – Boise), Rep. John Gannon (D – Boise), Rep. Terry Gestrin (R – Donnelly), Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R – White Bird), Rep. John Green (R – Post Falls), Rep. Brooke Green (D – Boise), Rep. Ryan Kerby (R – New Plymouth), Rep. Mike Kingsley (R – Lewiston), Rep. Rob Mason (D – Boise), Rep. John McCrostie (D – Garden City), Rep. Ron Mendive (R – Coeur d’Alene), Rep. Dorothy Moon (R – Stanley), Rep. Tammy Nichols (R – Middleton), Rep. Heather Scott (R – Blanchard), Rep. Paul Shepherd (R – Riggins), Rep. Elaine Smith (D – Pocatello), Rep. Sally Toone (D – Gooding), Rep. Caroline Troy (R – Genesee), Rep. Tony Wisniewski (R – Post Falls), Rep. Julianne Young (R – Blackfoot), Rep. Christy Zito (R – Hammett), Rep. Steven Harris (R – Meridian), and Rep. Vito Barbieri (R – Dalton Gardens)

Bill status: Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee (04.05.2019)