Idaho Legislature Considers Adjourning Soon, Returning In Summer Or Fall

Apr 23, 2021

Idaho Republican leaders have introduced a bill that would allow the current session to be adjourned soon with a likely summer or fall session.
Credit Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho lawmakers are getting cabin fever.

"This is potentially a ticket out of here, so I would really appreciate it if you introduce this," said Idaho Republican Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma, presenting a bill Friday morning to the state House Ways and Means Committee.

Legislators had hoped to finish their work and leave Boise around the same time as the Washington legislature, which is required by law to end its session on Sunday.

But Idaho legislators still have work to do. Several parts of the state budget are not yet approved and a few other bills important to Republican leaders aren’t yet passed.

The bill Blanks is introducing would allow legislators to finish for now, perhaps within a few days, and come back later, perhaps in September.

“The reason for the September date is there’s some concern over what the census numbers are going to come in and whether we have to make any adjustments because they are so late," she said.

The legislature has a limited role in redistricting. Its leaders appoint four of the six commission members, but the legislature has no authority to approve or deny the plan.

Elizabeth Bowen from Idaho’s redistricting commission says census numbers are normally available in April. This year, she says, they’re not due until at least September and the state hasn’t yet appointed members to the committee in charge of reviewing the state’s political boundaries.

Idaho lawmakers are taking this weekend off and will reconvene on Monday.