2021 Legislative Update: Week 14

EDUCATION

Update: House Bill 377 would protect free speech and prohibit K-12 teachers and professors of higher education institutions from requiring students to adopt a position on any issue personally. It promotes non-discriminatory practices in the classroom and allows for funds to be retracted from a school if there is a violation of this policy. Sponsored by Representatives Wendy Horman (R-Idaho Falls) and Julianne Young (R-Blackfoot), and Senator Carl Crabtree (R-Grangeville), the bill passed out of the Senate by a vote of 27-8. HB.377 previously passed the House and is now before the Governor for his consideration.  

PRO-LIFE

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 and prohibit any public contracting or public funding of any nature to a facility or organization that offers abortions. HB.220 passed the Senate last week by a vote of 28-7. | Madison Liberty Standard: Favor

Update: House Bill 366 (previously Senate Bill 1085 and Senate Bill 1183), sponsored by Senator Patti Anne Lodge and Representative Steve Harris, was signed into law last week by Governor Little. This bill will prohibit abortions after the fetus’s heartbeat is detected, with exceptions for rape and incest. However, HB.366 will not go into immediate effect; instead, it will remain inactive until triggered by a United States appellate court decision in favor of a similar heartbeat abortion law. | Madison Liberty Standard: Favor 

GOOD GOVERNANCE 

New Legislation: House Concurrent Resolution 22, sponsored by Representative Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett), was introduced last week and sent to the House State Affairs Committee. This resolution, if passed, would allow the legislature to recess for a break and return on September 1, 2021, or before. 

WILDLIFE AND RECREATION

Update: Senate Bill 1211 will revise the powers and duties of the Idaho Wolf Depredation Control Board and other regulations related to wolves. This bill would allow the year-round hunting of wolves on private land. This bill passed the House last week by a vote of 58-11. SB.1211 previously passed the Senate and is now before the Governor for his consideration.

Update: House Bill 229, sponsored by Representative Terry Gestrin, passed the House by a vote of 40-28. This bill will increase the fees for snowmobiles, especially for non-residents of Idaho. The bill previously passed the Senate and is now before the Governor.  

*FINANCE

Update: Senate Bill 1210 failed in the House by a vote of 28-41. If passed, this bill would have designated more than $40 million in federal COVID relief (ARPA) money for coronavirus testing in K-12 schools across the state. 

Update: Senate Bill 1185 is an appropriations bill for Medicaid. This bill passed the House in a narrow vote of 36-34.

Update: House Bill 383 is an appropriations bill for the Lieutenant Governor. The initial appropriations bill for the Lt. Governor cut her budget and decreased her staff. The previous versions did not garner enough votes to pass, so this is the third attempt to restore the Lt. Governor’s budget to its prior status. HB.383 passed the House by a vote of 53-11. 

Update: Senate Bill 1204 passed the House last week by a vote of 38-31. SB.1204 seeks to clarify ARPA funds, which is the newest wave of COVID funds coming into Idaho, are cognizable (enabling them to be under the authority of the legislature for dispensation instead of the Governor) and create governing principles and funds for their expenditure. Some legislators were concerned the bill’s language wasn’t strong enough to stand a legal test and wouldn’t accomplish the intended purpose.