ECONOMY & TAXATION
New Legislation: Representative Steven Harris has introduced a bill, House Bill 199, to lower the state income tax and sales tax. This would create ease on low-income families as it repeals the grocery tax credit and would create $284,000,000 in total tax relief. This bill is currently in the House Revenue and Taxation Committee.
Update: House Bill 140 was passed out of committee for a second reading this week. The bill is sponsored by Representative Priscilla Giddings. This bill would prohibit any government entity in Idaho from contracting with a company that discriminates against their employees based on vaccination status.
Update: Senate Bill 1084 was read for a second time and filed for a third reading this week. This bill would set up a regular review of required licensing for jobs and occupations to evaluate if any licensing is unnecessary and can be eliminated. This bill is sponsored by Senators Lori Den Hartog and Todd M. Lakey, and Representative Gayann De Mordaunt.
Update: House Bill 141 was recommended for General Orders this week. This bill is sponsored by Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy. This bill would require that any procurement contract given out by a state agency to a state institution of higher education would have to be awarded on a competitive basis between all the public state institutions of higher education.
Update: House Bill 145, sponsored by Representative Sage G. Dixon, was referred to the House Business Committee this week. This bill would change the requirements for electrical apprenticeships overall to be more restrictive. It removes the journeyman to apprentice ratio requirement, establishes a new requirement that an electrical apprentice must have constant supervision, adds penalties for violation of this rule, and establishes a new educational requirement.
Update: Senate Bill 1085, sponsored by Senator Patti Anne Lodge and Representative Steve Harris, passed out of committee and was filed for a third reading this week. This bill would prohibit abortions after a heartbeat of the fetus can be detected, with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. If passed, this would not go into effect immediately; it would be inactive until triggered by a United States appellate court decision decided in favor of a similar heartbeat abortion law.
Update: 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 by Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy and this week was passed out of the House unanimously.
New Legislation: Senator Kevin Cook introduced Senate Bill 1116 this week, which would make it so that if a student is found to have a dangerous or deadly weapon at a public school, the student would not be required to be expelled. Currently, if a student brings a weapon to school, it is required that the student be expelled. The bill is currently in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
New Legislation: Senate Bill 1112 was both introduced in, and passed out of, the Senate State Affairs Committee this week. SB.1112 was introduced by Senators Chuck Winder and Kelly Anthon. The purpose of this bill would be to allow the Speaker of the House and the Senate Pro Temp to convene a special session of the legislature.
Update: House Bill 67, sponsored by Representatives Gayann DeMordaunt and 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 passed out of committee in the Senate and has been filed for a third reading. HB.97 passed the Madison Liberty Standard (100%), and we SUPPORT this bill.
Update: 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. It was passed out of committee in the Senate and has now been filed for a third reading.
Update: Senate Bill 1075, sponsored by Senator Thayne and Representative Kerby, allows school districts to begin a 4-week jump start program for children starting kindergarten that did poorly on an initial screening. To be eligible for the program, the parents also will need to attend training on how to help their child succeed. This bill passed out of the Senate Education Committee this week and has been filed for a third reading.
New Legislation: House Bill 189 was introduced and referred to the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee. The bill is sponsored by Representative Ilana Rubel and Senator Dave Lent. This bill would allow for non-violent, non-sexual offenders to petition for the sealing of their criminal record. Only one criminal act or misdemeanor would be eligible to be sealed and it would only be available once.
New Legislation: House Bill 195 is a bill that is intended to restrict protesting and picketing outside of a person’s home or residence. The bill specifically would make protesting and picketing outside a person’s residence with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm the residents. This bill was introduced by Representative Brooke Green and Representative Greg Chaney. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee.
New Legislation: Representative Barbara Ehardt introduced House Bill 197 this week. The bill, which is now in the House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee, is intended to curb the powers of local government to penalize citizens under their jurisdiction. This bill would specifically restrict local government’s ability to create punishments outside of fining the citizen and limits the quantity of fine that is allowed.
Update: House Bill 153, sponsored by Representative Priscilla Giddings, was referred to the House Appropriations Committee this week. This bill would require a separate appropriations bill for each state institution of higher education. Currently, all the state institutions of higher education are funded through a single bill.
Update: This week House Bill 106, sponsored by Representative Vito Barbieri, was passed out of the House by a vote of 45-24-1 and is now in the Senate State Affairs Committee. This bill would eliminate the August election that can currently be used only by school districts.
Update: Senate Bill 1060 would require that orders from a Public Health district be approved or denied by the county commissioners of each county before they go into effect. Senator Steve Vick sponsored this bill. This week the bill passed the Senate 32-1-2 and was referred to the House Health and Welfare Committee. SB.1060 passed the Madison Liberty Standard (100%), and we SUPPORT this bill.
Update: This week Senate Bill 1068 passed out of the Senate 26-8-1 and is now in the House State Affairs Committee. This bill requires that the legislative session end by the last Friday of March each year. It can be extended to address a legislative veto by the governor, in a state of emergency, or if 2/3 of each chamber of the legislature pass a concurrent resolution to continue the session. This bill was sponsored by Senator Jim Guthrie.
Update: Senate Bill 1027 was introduced by Senator Doug Ricks and has passed out of committee in the House. This bill would require that individuals who are wrongfully convicted of a crime would receive restitution from the state of Idaho.
Update: Sponsored by Senator Steve Vick, Senate Bill 1110 was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee this week. At present, when petitioning for a State Referendum, signatures must be gathered from 18 districts across the state. This bill would increase the number of districts that would require signatures to all 35 districts. This increase would then ensure that a referendum is wanted by the whole state rather than just a portion of it. SB.1110 passed the Madison Liberty Standard (100%), and we SUPPORT this bill.
Update: Sponsored by Representative Julianne Young, House Bill 137 was referred to the House State Affairs Committee this week. This bill would establish a process for an audit of an election by the Secretary of State. In this process, a comparison would be made between the results reported by each county and the physical paper ballots from voters, to evaluate if the results are correct.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Update: House Bill 135 (previously House Bill 1, House Bill 16, and House Bill 98) 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 passed out of the House by a vote of 49-20-1 this week. It has now been referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee. HB.135 passed the Madison Liberty Standard (100%), and we SUPPORT this bill.
Matthew Veach is Policy and Research Intern who is currently pursuing a degree in International Studies with an emphasis in Policy while minoring in Political Science and Public Administration at BYU-Idaho. He will graduate in July 2021 then pursue a Master of Public Administration beginning in Fall 2021.