2021 Legislative Update: Week 15

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 to a facility or organization that offers abortions. This past week, the House accepted amendments to this bill that were previously passed in the Senate. HB.220 is now before the Governor. 

APPROPRIATIONS 

Update: House Bill 383 is an appropriations bill for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The initial appropriations bill for the Lt. Governor’s office 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 Senate in a vote of 21-13. Having already passed the Idaho House, the bill is now before the Governor. 

New Legislation: House Bill 398 is an appropriations bill for the Public Schools Educational Support Program’s Division of Children’s Programs. The bill seeks to appropriate nearly 3 million dollars of federal ARPA funds to families with children who have been identified as homeless. HB.398 passed the House by a vote of 53-10 and the Senate by a vote of 33-2. This bill has been sent to the Governor.

New Legislation: House Bill 399 is an appropriations bill for the Commission on Aging. It appropriates close to 3 million dollars of federal ARPA funds to provide older Idahoans with home-delivered meals, support services, etc. This funding measure passed the House by a vote of 54-9 and the Senate by a vote of 33-2. This bill is before the Governor now for his signature or veto. 

New Legislation: House Bill 400 is an appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Welfare. It appropriates 36 million dollars of federal ARPA funds for the Child Care Development Block Grant. This bill passed the House last week by a vote of 50-15 and passed the Senate by a vote of 33-2. This bill is before the Governor now for his signature or veto. 

New Legislation: House Bill 395 is an appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Welfare. It dedicates 70 million dollars of federal ARPA funds for the Child Care Stabilization Grant. HB.395 passed the House by a vote of 38-27 and the Senate by a vote of 32-3. This bill is now before the Governor.

New Legislation: House Bill 387 is an appropriations bill for the public institutions of higher education in Idaho for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. This bill is the second attempt to pass this education budget, as the first one failed after many legislators expressed concerns that Idaho colleges and universities were not upholding educational standards properly and have tolerated discriminatory practices in the classroom based on students’ political beliefs. HB.387 passed the House by a vote of 49-20 and the Senate by a vote of 25-8. It has been sent to the Governor’s desk. 

New Legislation: House Bill 388 is an appropriations bill for Idaho’s school districts and public charter schools. It dedicates 454 million dollars of federal ARPA funds for the public education system, including funds for special needs programs. Last week, HB.388 passed the House (56-10) and the Senate (29-2). This bill is now before the Governor for his signature or veto. 

Update: House Bill 369 is an appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Welfare for the fiscal year 2022. It appropriates almost 200 million dollars for the department. This bill passed the House by a vote of 38-27 and the Senate by a vote of 30-5. HB.369 is now before the Governor.  

Update: Senate Bill 1212 is an appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Welfare. It appropriates 10 million dollars of federal ARPA funds to COVID-19 vaccine administration and an additional 20 million for other health-related purposes outlined in the bill. This bill passed the Senate last week in a vote of 26-7 and passed the House by a vote of 41-24. It has been sent to the Governor’s desk. 

Update: House Bill 382 is an appropriations bill for Medicaid. HB.382 passed the Senate in a vote of 32-2. This bill previously passed the House and is now before the Governor. This appropriation sets aside 16 million dollars of ARPA funds for the Division of Medicaid for the fiscal year 2021 and 62 million dollars for the division for the fiscal year 2022.

STATE OF EMERGENCY 

Update: House Bill 135, as amended in the Senate (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. This bill was introduced by Representative Jason Monks (R-Meridian) and passed in the House and Senate initially but was vetoed by the Governor. The House voted to overturn the veto two weeks ago, but when the Senate voted to override the veto last week (which requires a 2/3rds vote), the action failed in a vote of 21-12, which killed the bill. | Madison Liberty Standard: Favor

New Legislation: House Bill 391 states that no state of emergency suspends the exercise of a constitutional right. The bill will not require funds from state or local governments. It was first proposed by Representative Jason Monks (R-Meridian) on May 3, 2021. Now before the Governor, HB.391 passed the House by a vote of 54-13 and the Senate with a vote of 28-7. 

New Legislation: House Bill 392, sponsored by Representative Jason Monks (R-Meridian), recognizes that the legislature has the authority to create and amend laws but elaborates that the executive branch does not have the authority to change laws during a declared emergency. The bill passed the House with a vote of 56-11 and the Senate by a vote of 28-7. The bill is now before the Governor for his consideration.

New Legislation: House Bill 393, sponsored by Representative Jason Monks (R-Meridian), considers all jobs essential and establishes that, even during a declared emergency, no job should be restricted based on job type or classification. Now before the Governor, HB.393 passed the House by a vote of 56-11 and the Senate by a vote of 28-7 last week. 

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1217, sponsored by Senator Kelly Anthon (R-Burley), prohibits unnecessary restrictions on Idahoans’ ability to work, prohibits suspension of the rights of Idahoans guaranteed by the constitutions, prohibits the altering or suspension of Idaho Code (though enforcement of some provisions may be temporarily suspended), and requires any extreme emergency declaration lasting longer than 90 days to have confirmation from the Legislature. Last week this bill passed the Senate by a vote of 28-7 and then the House by a vote of 48-8. SB.1217 is now before the Governor for his veto or signature.

TAXES 

Update: House Bill 380 (previously House Bill 332), introduced by Representative Steven Harris (R-Meridian), recently passed the Senate by a vote of 28-7. This tax relief bill proposes to reduce all income tax brackets and set the top bracket to 6.5%, retroactive to January 2021. It also provides a one-time, nontaxable income tax rebate to Idaho taxpayers. Having already passed the Idaho House, HB.380 is now before the Governor. 

Update: House Bill 362, sponsored by Representative Joe Palmer (R-Meridian), passed the Senate by a vote of 29-6. This bill increases the sales tax used to bond for the Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation program from 1% to 4.5% and allows local governments to participate in bonding. This bill would require the state to go into debt to fund the projects associated with this program. This bill previously passed in the House and has been sent to the Governor’s desk. 

New Legislation: House Bill 389, sponsored by Representative Mike Moyle (R-Star), raises homeowner’s property tax exemption by 25% to $125,000, increases benefits for the circuit breaker tax relief program to $1,500, and increases the exemption for personal property taxes to $250,000. Additionally, the bill reduces the ability of a taxing district to increase its budget. Now before the Governor, HB.389 recently passed the House (48-20) and Senate (19-16).

EDUCATION

Update: Senate Bill 1046, introduced by Senator Steven P. Thayn (R-Emmett), would allow parents to request curriculum alternatives in public schools if a certain number of parents request changes. This bill would give parents a greater say in their children’s education and what happens at school. The bill recently passed the House by a vote of 47-19. It previously passed the Senate and was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2021. 

Update: Senate Bill 1075, sponsored by Senator Steven Thayne (R-Emmett) and Representative Ryan Kerby (R-New Plymouth), allows school districts to begin a four-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. Last week, SB.1075 passed the House by a vote of 39-25 and, having already passed the Senate, is now before the Governor. 

GOOD GOVERNANCE

New Legislation: Senate Bill 1218, sponsored by Senator C. Scott Grow (R-Eagle), would prohibit schedule one drugs from being commercially promoted or advertised. This bill recently passed the Senate by a vote of 21-14 and is now before the House State Affairs Committee

Update: Sponsored by Senators Todd Lakey (R-Nampa) and Patti Anne Lodge (R-Huston), Senate Bill 1205 (previously House Bill 300, sponsored by Senator Christy Zito) aims to protect small arms and self-defense by ensuring local law enforcement would not be required to enforce federal laws that violate the Idaho Constitution. Last week, the bill passed the House by a vote of 55-11. It was previously passed in the Senate by a vote of 28-7.

New Legislation: Representatives Dustin Manwaring (R-Pocatello) and James Ruchti (D-Pocatello) sponsored House Bill 390, which would have ensured certain federal handouts to individuals wouldn’t be taxed as income by the state of Idaho. Additionally, it would have made a change to how the Tax Commission operates and require that certain decisions made by the chairman of the Tax Commission be confirmed by the entire commission board. Last week HB.390 passed the House by a vote of 52-13 but failed in the Senate with a vote of 9-26. 

Update: Senate Bill 1150, introduced by Senator Patti Ann Lodge (R-Huston), passed the House last week by a vote of 35-25. 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: Representatives Gayann DeMordaunt (R-Eagle) and Sage Dixon (R-Ponderay) sponsored House Bill 319, which passed the House by a vote of 41-21 last week. In an effort to increase voter participation in city elections, HB.319 seeks to move the election of all city officials to even-numbered years.