2021 Idaho legislature

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House Ethics Committee has voted to censure a central Idaho legislator for her role in publicizing the name and photo of a woman who claimed in April that she was raped by another legislator.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Masks are back in Idaho, at least for the local governments that want them.

In the latest tiff between them, Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin issued an executive order banning mask mandates while Governor Little was out of town. As soon as he returned, he rescinded it.
The incident is an escalation of tensions as the 2022 race for governor heats up.

ID House Speaker Files To Run For Lieutenant Governor

May 27, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

The speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives has jumped into the race for state lieutenant governor.

Republican Scott Bedke says he’s ready for a new challenge after 21 years as a state representative and nine as the leader of the House. He’s the longest-tenured speaker in state history.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Idaho Governor Brad Little came to Post Falls today [Friday] to celebrate his and the legislature’s accomplishments during the session that recently concluded.

“Education, tax relief, infrastructure, those three things. Some of it was a little painful, but that’s part of the process, the process in a constitutional three-branch government, bicameral legislature that exists," he said.

Idaho's Lt. Governor Announces She'll Challenge Governor

May 19, 2021
Screenshot from CBS 2 Boise

Idaho’s number two elected official says she’s going after number one.

Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin announced on Wednesday that she’ll challenge a fellow Republican, Governor Brad Little, in his quest for a second term.

She joins a crowded field of people looking to boot the incumbent from the governor’s mansion.

ID Legislature Finishes Its 2021 Session, For Now

May 13, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho legislature has adjourned, for now. The Senate is apparently done for the year, but the House has held open the possibility of returning.

Now that the final gavel has fallen, legislators are taking some time to talk about what they’ve done.

Screenshot from Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry

Today [Wednesday] the Idaho legislature returns to Boise after a five-day break. Lawmakers are close to finishing their 2021 session.

An Idaho business group says it’s time for lawmakers to finally end what is now the longest session in state history.

Courtesy of Green Star Cannabis

It is illegal to use, possess and grow marijuana and several other drugs in Idaho. Now, state lawmakers are a step closer to adding another drug-related prohibition.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House has passed a trio of bills that chip away at the governor’s powers during an emergency.

Since Governor Brad Little declared the current Covid emergency back in March, 2020, legislative leaders have chafed at how widely he has used his executive powers.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

Idaho legislative leaders expect to finish their 2021 regular session this week. Today [Monday] is the 113th day. It’s one of the longest sessions in Idaho history.

Legislators were working toward adjourning last week until one event took center stage and slowed things down.

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

An Idaho state representative has resigned from the state House. Aaron von Ehlinger, a Republican from Lewiston, leaves office on the same day that a legislative ethics committee recommended that he be expelled.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

UPDATED: 2:20 pm PT 

The Idaho House Ethics Committee heard testimony Wednesday about an accusation of sexual assault against Lewiston Republican Representative Aaron von Ehlinger.

Committee members will reconvene on Thursday morning to debate their next steps.

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

As Idaho’s legislature moves to the end of its session, lawmakers have said yes to a new Medicaid budget and then no to money for more Covid testing in schools.

ID Legislature Votes To Increase Snowmobile Fees

Apr 26, 2021
Vicki Isakson/ID Dept. of Parks and Recreation

The Idaho legislature is sending the governor a bill that would increase the sticker fees for people who own snowmobiles.

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.

Courtesy of Amazon

The Idaho House on Thursday approved a bill that supporters say will limit how teachers can talk about race in the state’s classrooms. It’s a theme that has gained steam in the last few weeks.

Idaho House Approves Permanent And One-Time Tax Cuts

Apr 22, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House today [Thursday] approved a two-part tax relief bill.

One part would provide residents with a one-time rebate check later this year. Residents who filed a state tax return in 2019 would get back nine-percent of the amount they paid or $50, whichever is more.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Idaho House voted Wednesday to override a veto by Governor Brad Little of a bill that would limit the governor’s powers during an emergency.

The 48-19 vote is a rebuff to the governor’s argument that the bill limits his ability to quickly act.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Voters in Idaho may get the chance to decide whether state legislators may call themselves into special, non-scheduled sessions. The change requires an amendment to the state constitution.

Idaho Governor Signs Initiative Signature Gathering Bill

Apr 17, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho Governor Brad Little has signed into law a bill that changes the signature requirements for citizen ballot initiatives.

The bill requires signatures from six-percent of registered voters in all 35 legislative districts in order to quality a measure for the ballot, an increase from the current 18 districts.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House has narrowly voted down a proposed constitutional amendment related to the legalization of drugs such as marijuana.

The measure would have sent to the ballot a measure to require two-thirds approval of the legislature in order to legalize one of the drugs on the top two tiers of the state’s controlled substances list.

Courtesy of Reclaim Idaho

A bill that would toughen the signature requirements for initiatives in Idaho has gone to Governor Brad Little’s desk. He has until Saturday to sign it.

This year’s bill would require signatures from six-percent of registered voters in all 35 legislative districts in order to quality a measure for the ballot.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Washington and Idaho legislatures are passing a flurry of bills as they race toward their respective adjournments.

In Boise on Monday, the Senate approved, by one vote, legislation that would allow the state to accept a $6 million federal early learning grant that has been dogged by arguments over the underlying intent.

Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Idaho Senate has voted to put limits on the governor’s powers during declared emergencies, such as the pandemic.

Legislative leaders came to Boise this session unhappy that the governor has kept Idaho in a state of emergency since the start of the pandemic.

Courtesy of Idaho Secretary of State

Idaho legislators are considering several election-related measures this year.

One requires people who register to vote on Election Day to present identification with a photo and current address.

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

Six Idaho legislators have tested positive for the coronavirus and, as a result, the legislature is taking a two-week break. House Speaker Scott Bedke broke the news today.

“I’m not all that surprised," he said. "We knew it was a possibility and we planned for it as best we could. It would have been nice if we could have finished completely, but we didn’t. We will come back and finish the job.”

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

An Idaho House committee has approved a bill that prohibits the state or any local government agency from imposing a mask mandate to deal with an infectious disease.

The legislation says entities such as health districts may recommend wearing masks, but not require it.

The bill had broad support during a Monday hearing in Boise. 

Courtesy of Idaho Secretary of State

The Idaho legislature is a step closer to making it more difficult to legalize drugs such as marijuana.

A House committee voted Thursday to put a constitutional amendment before voters. It would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature to allow the possession and use of drugs that are now considered illegal.

The proposal comes as advocates of medical marijuana have begun to collect signatures for a 2022 state initiative.

Idaho Moves Closer To Allowing Industrial Hemp

Mar 11, 2021
Flickr Creative Commons/Marcia O'Connor

An Idaho Senate committee has approved a bill that would lead to a new industrial hemp industry in the Gem State. Idaho is the only state in the nation not to allow farmers to grow and companies to process industrial hemp, according to Global Hemp Industries.

But the Idaho Farm Bureau, represented at a Thursday hearing by Braden Jensen, is asking legislators to change that.

Idaho House Says No To Ban On Residential Picketing

Mar 10, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Idaho House has killed a bill that would have made it illegal for protestors to picket in front of someone’s home.

The bill was co-sponsored by Rep. Brooke Green [D-Boise] because of an incident last April. Activist Ammon Bundy and others picketed the home of a Boise-area police officer who arrested a woman who refused to leave a city park that was closed for Covid reasons.