2021 Legislative Update: Week 8

ECONOMY, TAXATION, AND TRANSPORTATION

Update: Senate Bill 1041, introduced by Senator Jim Guthrie (R-McCammon), would adjust a section of code that bans businesses and individuals from charging excessive prices for pharmaceuticals, water, food and fuel during a state of emergency (also known as price gouging). This bill amends that law to clarify that an exorbitant price can’t be judged by how much the retailer is earning (“increase in margin earned”), only the comparative price of the item before and during the state of emergency. This bill has passed out of the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee and is awaiting a vote in the House. Madison Liberty Standard: Oppose.    

FAMILY PROSPERITY

Update: House Bill 59, sponsored by Representative Julieanne Young (R-Blackfoot), passed out of the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee this week.  This bill 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.

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 is sponsored by Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesee) and passed out of the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee this week.

Update: House Bill 126 was introduced this week, sponsored by Senator Jim Guthrie (R-McCammon). This bill would permit the production, processing, transportation, and research of hemp. This bill recently passed through the House Agricultural Affairs Committee

Update: House Bill 220 (previously House Bill 17), sponsored by Representative Bruce Skaugg (R-Nampa), would ban taxpayer funds from being sent to abortion providers as well as prohibit any public contracting or public funding of any nature to a facility or organization that offers abortions. This bill passed the House, 55-14-1, this week.  Madison Liberty Standard: Favor.    

EDUCATION

New Legislation: House Bill 249, sponsored by Representative Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho Falls), was introduced to, and passed out of, the House Education Committee this week.  The bill would require parents to opt their children into their school’s sexual education course.  Currently, the public school policy is that students automatically opt into a sexual education course and their parents must opt the child out.  This bill would flip the current policy.

Update: This week, House Bill 141 passed out of the House, 66-0-4.  Sponsored by Representative Caroline Nilsson Troy (R-Genesee), 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: Senate Bill 1075, sponsored by Senator Thayne (R-Emmett) and Representative Kerby (R-New Plymouth), 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 was referred to the House Education Committee this week.

Update: Senator Kevin Cook’s Senate Bill 1116 was voted on this week in the Senate and passed unanimously.  The bill would make it so that if a student is found to have a weapon at a public school, the student would not be required to be expelled.  Currently, if a student brings a weapon, no flexibility is allowed according to circumstances, it would be required that the student be expelled.  The bill was amended this week and is now ready to be voted on in the Senate. 

Update: This week, House Bill 215, sponsored by Representative Wendy Horman (R-Idaho Falls),  was passed out of the House Education Committee and it is awaiting a vote in the House.  This legislation would allow low-income families to receive $500 of grant money, per child, per year, for alternative forms of education like private schools, charter schools, or homeschooling.  This bill would help parents of low-income families to create additional opportunities for their children.

Update: Representatives Charlie Shepherd (R-Pollock), Ryan Kerby (R-New Plymouth), and Dorothy Moon (R-Stanley) are sponsoring House Bill 221. This bill passed out of the House Education Committee and is awaiting a vote in the House.  This bill seeks to address the shortage of teachers that exists in Idaho, especially in the rural areas of the state.  The bill would permit local governments to create teaching certificates that can be more easily obtained than current certificates.  These local government-created certificates would only be valid in the county where it was issued.

GOOD GOVERNANCE

New Legislation: Last week, House Bill 255 was introduced and referred to the House State Affairs Committee.  This bill is sponsored by Representative Brandon Mitchell (R-Moscow).  This bill would require current driver’s licenses for voter registration.  If an Idahoan does not have a current driver’s license then a different form of identification would be created for them to be able to vote.  This bill is intended to create greater confidence and security in elections.

New Legislation: Representative Gayann DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) introduced House Bill 273 this week.  This legislation would create a sunset date on various regulatory boards and commissions.  This would ensure that regulations are being examined periodically by the legislature.

New Legislation: This week, Senator Patti Ann Lodge (R-Huston) introduced Senate Bill 1150. This bill would create an additional rule on citizen petitions.  The new rule would require a level of proof that those who are signing the petitions are residing in Idaho when they signed the petition.  This is to ensure that the will of Idahoans are being represented not Utahns or Californians.

Update: Senate Bill 1027, sponsored by Senator Doug Ricks (R-Rexburg), has been delivered to the governor and is awaiting either his signature or his veto. This bill would require that individuals who are wrongfully convicted of a crime would receive monetary restitution from the state of Idaho.  

Update: Senate Bill 1044, introduced by Senators Mary Souza (R-Coeur d’Alene) and Jim Rice (R-Caldwell), 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 was delayed every day on the House floor and is still awaiting a vote.

Update: House Bill 216 is a supplemental appropriations bill of more than $369 million for Medicaid. This bill previously passed the House floor and passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee this week and will be headed to the Senate floor next. 

Update: House Bill 223, previously House Bill 88, sponsored by Representative Mike Moyle (R-Star), was referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee.  This bill 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. Madison Liberty Standard: Support.    

STATE OF EMERGENCY

Update: Senate Bill 1060, sponsored by Senator Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens), would require that orders from a Public Health District be approved or denied by the county commissioners of each county before those orders could go into effect. This bill spent much of the last week on hold in the House but it remains ready to be voted on. Madison Liberty Standard: Support.