Zito: The Match Continues

The actions of the Executive branch this week with regard to the Stay Healthy Order are beginning to feel like a horrible game of chess.

The legislature—your voice in state government—is being challenged in a most unfair way.

When the legislature was not in session, the executive branch did as it pleased without listening to the citizens or the many medical professionals who had nothing financially to gain from the federal money pouring into the state.

The Health Department and the Governor executed a series of orders to limit the activities of Idahoans.

Businesses were lost, families devastated by not being with loved ones as they passed, major family events ruined, children kept out of school and conditioned to believe that the next person that breathed near them may kill them, medical care was denied, the list goes on.

Twice in as many weeks, the legislature has been engaged in these fun and games. The question has to be asked, when will the lives of the people of this state cease to be the pawn in this horrible game? My fear is that ending the emergency, for a pandemic that according to our own documents (discussed in an earlier email) has never been a pandemic, is going to be the volleyball of the session while the lives of the people of this state continue to be egregiously disrupted.

When the legislature responded to the outcry from the good people of this state about not being able to attend their family’s sporting events by creating legislation to end the order of limited attendance, the Executive Branch changed the order giving us some crumbs.

When the legislature responded to the ongoing “Stay Healthy Order”, the Executive Branch again moved their chess piece and issued a new order, moving us to a lower stage of alert and proclaiming that now we were receiving suggestions on how to keep ourselves safe and healthy, not that we don’t already know how.

The legislature has to follow procedure, we cannot just “Proclaim”. These are the steps we must follow:

  • A bill is created
  • A print hearing is held
  • A full committee hearing is held
  • The bill moves to the floor session for a vote by the entire Senate or House; then, if approved…
  • This process continues in the other body, Senate or House

The law must be changed so that we never find ourselves in this situation again.

About the author: Senator Christy Zito (R-Hammett) is the state senator for Idaho’s legislative district 23. She previously served two terms in the Idaho House of Representatives (2016-2020). Born in Utah, ranch- and farm-raised, Christy is a graduate of Bridgerland Vocational Center in farm and ranch management. She is a small business owner and farm owner/operator. Christy has five children and eleven grandchildren.