2020 Legislative Update: Week Six

Week six of Idaho’s 2020 Legislative Session has been one for the books with many important topics having been discussed throughout the capitol. Buzz topics this week include gender, marriage, education, property tax, and more. 

Read below to learn more about some of the noteworthy bills and resolutions that have come up this week in Boise!

Education

The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved Common Core standards and completely disregarded the House Education Committee’s 10-5 vote to repeal. The way the rule confirmation process is currently written unless both houses voted to repeal the standards, will, unfortunately, continue to stay in place.

Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls) introduced House Bill 500 this week that would ensure that opportunities continue for girls and women competing in athletics. The bill does not allow for boys or men to participate in girls or women’s sports teams, as defined by their inherent differences that are physiological, chromosomal, and hormonal.

Idaho Families 

Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls) and Representative Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls) introduced House Bill 466 which would set the marriage age requirement to 16 years old. Currently, Idaho does not have a minimum age when marriage is permitted. The purpose of this bill is to prevent forced or coerced marriages, trafficking of children, and to limit marriage to individuals who are able to protect themselves from abuse. This bill also will add a restriction to someone who is 16 – 18 years old that the age of the person they are marrying must be within 3 years of their own age. 

House Bill 465 was introduced in the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee by Representative Christy Zito (R-Hammett). The bill would ban experimental sex reassignment surgeries and cross-sex hormones for individuals under 18 years of age. This bill will receive a hearing on Tuesday next week. 

On Thursday, Representative Julianne Young (R-Blackfoot, Idaho) introduced House Bill 509, which establishes provisions regarding the inclusion of certain vital statistics on the individual’s certificate of birth. This bill would allow birth certificates to be changed up to one year after birth if any clerical error has been made. After a year, changes to the birth certificates would require court approval. Vital statistics records, which include birth certificates, accurately record basic information regarding a person, including their name, parents’ names, and the date they were born. Allowing factual information to be changed on official records leads to inaccurate information, nullifying the purpose of these records. This bill will be heard in committee on Wednesday.

In the Senate, Senate Bill 1249 introduced by Senator Regina Bayer (R-Meridian) regarding pro-life license plates passed in the senate. This was a huge win for the pro-life movement as we work to join with 33 other states to offer citizens the option to purchase a Choose Life license plate that will, in turn, donate to pregnancy crisis centers throughout the state. 

Representative Bryan Zollinger (R-Idaho Falls) proposed House Bill 507 into the State Affairs committee Thursday morning that would defund abortion providers in Idaho. The bill would ensure that public money would not go to individuals or organizations that provide abortion services in the state. This bill will receive a hearing on Monday.

Economic Freedom

The good news is that on Monday House Bill 360, a personal bill by Representative Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird) to repeal grocery tax, finally received a hearing. However, the bad news is that it will not be receiving a second reading on the floor because it was killed in committee.

A huge topic of discussion this week is whether or not the house will pass a property tax freeze. House Bill 359 has been proposed by Representative Jason Monks (R-Nampa), which would eliminate all property tax and replace the revenue lost by increasing sales tax. Sales tax will go from 6% to 11% if this becomes law.

Limited, Constitutional Government

This week was a huge disappointment for those who support limited, constitutional government due to the house defeating House Bill 378 sponsored by Representative Dorthy Moon (R-Stanley). This legislation would have amended the Idaho code regarding the process for vacancies in the legislature. How the code currently stands is that if there is a vacancy in a district, the Governor will select their replacement. However, the legislature is allowed to select 3 choices to replace the vacancy, but they usually are not selected. This bill would have allowed the people of the district to elect a new representative for their area. Unfortunately, the bill failed in the House with a vote of 28-42.

After reading this, do you have any questions? If so, we encourage you to use our “Contact Your Representative” Tool to send an email to your representative with any questions, concerns, or even to express your appreciation.

We hope you will join us in the watchful care of the privileges we enjoy as citizens of this great state and nation.