2021 Legislative Update: Week 4

ECONOMY & TAXATION

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1041 introduced by Senator Jim Guthrie would prohibit excessive price increases during a declared emergency, amending an already existing law. The bill would protect consumers from unfair pricing in trade and commerce. This week, the legislation was passed out of the Senate Commerce and Human Resource Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

Update: Representative Ron Nate’s House Bill 21 concerns businesses owned by minors. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives and has been received by the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee this week, would prevent local governments from requiring various permits, licenses, and fees of businesses owned by minors. This bill passed the Madison Liberty Standard (100%) and we SUPPORT this bill.

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1048 introduced by Senator Jim Rice would prevent an increase in property taxes that exceed the growth of income of citizens. This would prevent property taxes from becoming too high for the people who live in various areas. This week, the bill was introduced and sent to the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee.

FAMILY PROSPERITY

Update: Senate Joint Resolution 101, a bill introduced by Senator C. Scott Grow, passed the Senate and is currently before the House State Affairs Committee.  This resolution proposes an amendment to the state constitution that essentially states psychoactive drugs (schedule 1 and 2) are illegal unless such drugs are approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration and permitted by the state. This legislation failed the Madison Liberty Standard (22%); therefore, we OPPOSE this measure.

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1050, introduced by Senator Melissa Wintrow, would require health insurance plans to increase the number of contraceptives that can be given to an individual enrolled in their health insurance plan to the amount needed for 12 months. This creates a government regulation that inhibits free-market competition among health benefit providers. This week, the bill was introduced and sent to the Senate Commerce and Human Resource Committee.

Update: House Bill 77 (previously House Bill 3), introduced by Representative Ron Nate, would protect parents from being charged with neglect for various actions, such as allowing children to walk to and from school, play outside, be home alone for reasonable amounts of time, etc. This bill was sent to the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee this week.

New Legislation: House Bill 96 adds to a section of law that requires an individual’s driver’s license to be taken away when they have not paid child support. This law would allow that individual to petition for a temporary restricted license to maintain or secure a job. This bill was introduced this week by Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy and sent to the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee.

Update: House Bill 59, introduced by Representative Julianne Young, would make a change in the way that current birth certificates indicate adopted versus birth parents on the record, which allows adoptees to trace their birth parents after the age of 18. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee this week. 

EDUCATION

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1046, introduced by Senator Steven P. Thayn, would allow parents to request curriculum alternatives in public schools if the parents of at least 24 students request changes. This bill would give parents a greater say in their children’s education and what happens at school. This week, the bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee

New Legislation: This week, House Bill 89 was introduced and passed a print hearing in the House State Affairs Committee. This legislation allows school district employees, with an enhanced concealed weapons license, to carry a concealed weapon on school property. This bill is sponsored by Representative Chad Christensen and Senators Christy Zito and Regina Bayer.

New Legislation: House Bill 67, sponsored by Representative Gayann DeMordaunt and Representative Ryan Kerby, would limit which government entities are allowed to close down K-12 schools for public health reasons. Under this legislation, only school boards would have that power. The bill was introduced this week and sent to the House Education Committee.

New Legislation: House Bill 68 requires that each state institution of higher education create a plan to stop the spread of infectious diseases. After that plan has been put in place, only the Idaho Department of Education would be able to close a state institution of higher education for public health reasons. This bill is sponsored by Representatives Gayann DeMordaunt and Ryan Kerby and was introduced this week and sent to the House Education Committee.

Update: House Bill 90 (previously House Bill 65), introduced by Representative Doug Okuniewicz, would protect historic monuments in Idaho from being permanently removed, unless the Idaho Legislature passes a concurrent resolution permitting the action. This became a bill after passing a print hearing in the House State Affairs Committee this week.

GOOD GOVERNANCE

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1044, introduced by Senator Mary Souza and Senator Jim Rice, would prohibit unelected urban renewal boards from having the power of eminent domain. This bill would make unelected urban renewal boards take an advisory role and the power of eminent domain would go instead to elected municipality boards such as a city council. This week, SB.1044 passed out of the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee

New Legislation: House Bill 88 would make ballot collection (sometimes called “harvesting”) illegal except when done by someone specifically authorized to do so, or by family members of a voter. The exception makes it possible for the elderly to give their ballot to someone they trust to be delivered for counting. This bill was introduced by Representative Mike Moyle and passed a print hearing in the House State Affairs Committee this week. 

Update: House Bill 66 (previously House Bill 2 and House Bill 8) would require each bond or levy on a ballot to be accompanied by information about how the bond/levy would increase an individual’s taxes. This bill is sponsored by Representative Ron Nate and Senator Doug Ricks. This week, HB.66 passed the House and is now before the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Update: House Bill 5, sponsored by Representative Brandon Mitchell, passed the House last week and is now before the Senate Transportation Committee. This bill prohibits the use of a GPS function on an electronic device while driving, unless it is “hands-free.” The current law already states that a driver may not “manually enter information.”

New Legislation: House Joint Resolution 003, introduced this week by Representative Greg Chaney, proposes a constitutional amendment to allow warrantless arrests for misdemeanors under certain conditions. Chaney stated that he didn’t expect or intend to see this succeed during this year’s legislative session, but he wanted to continue the conversation among the public and legislators that began last year when a similar amendment was proposed. He argued that his version puts acceptable limits on warrantless arrests.

Update: Senate Bill 1027, introduced by Senator Doug Ricks, would require that individuals who are wrongfully convicted of a crime receive restitution from the state of Idaho. This week, the bill was passed by the Senate and referred to the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1054, introduced by Senator Kelly Arthur Anthon and Senator Chuck Winder, would limit the power of the Governor of Idaho during state emergencies. SB.1054 would limit the time an emergency could last, limit powers of the Governor, allow the Legislature to end the emergency, protect essential workers, and protect the rights of the individual citizens during emergencies. This week, the bill was introduced and sent to the Senate State Affairs Committee

New Legislation: In an effort to help the vaccine become available for those who are waiting to receive it, House Bill 97 requires administrators of the COVID-19 vaccine (typically hospitals, pharmacies, etc.) to report to the Department of Health and Welfare if they have not used more than 70% of their vaccines within 14 days of receiving the doses. It also requires administrators to keep a waiting list of individuals to contact for instances when cancellations of appointments occur. This legislation is sponsored by Representatives John Gannon and Bruce Skaugg and is currently before the House State Affairs Committee

Update: House Bill 98 (previously House Bill 1 and House Bill 16) focuses on the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, the right to work during a pandemic, and curbing the powers of the Governor. It limits the power of the Governor to restrict a person’s ability to work or attend religious meetings during a state of emergency. One of the new changes is expanding the original state of emergency to 60 days instead of the previous version which was for 30 days. This bill was introduced by Representative Jason Monks and sent to the House State Affairs Committee this week. This bill passed the Madison Liberty Standard (100%), and we SUPPORT this bill.