Idaho legislature

News about the Idaho legislature and lawmakers.

Screenshot from Idaho Public Television

Idaho Governor Brad Little today [Friday] vetoed two bills aimed at curbing his authority during emergency situations.

Legislative leaders say the governor has kept Idaho in a formal state of emergency for too long.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House on Tuesday refused to approve a budget to pay school teachers because of a continuing dispute about the teaching of social justice issues.

ID Senate Committee Moves Tax Relief Bill Forward

Apr 8, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho


An Idaho legislative committee has moved a big tax relief bill to the full Senate.

The Local Government and Taxation Committee approved a two-part proposal Thursday.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho House Wednesday approved a bill that could make it more challenging to get a state-wide initiative on the ballot.


The bill requires that sponsors collect signatures from at least 6% of registered voters in each of the state’s 35 legislative districts. The current standard is 6% in 18 districts.

Idaho Senate Approves Fetal Heartbeat/Abortion Bill

Apr 6, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho Senate has approved a bill that would prohibit abortions after six or eight weeks of pregnancy.

The name of the bill sponsored by Sen. Patti Anne Lodge [R-Canyon County] is the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act.

Zoom screenshot

Idaho legislators will return to their 2021 session tomorrow [Tuesday] after a two-week recess. They took time off to allow a mini-Covid outbreak involving six House members to pass.

One of the items on their agenda: a second vote on accepting an early education grant. It was defeated because of concerns about the content of the curriculum.

Screenshot from Kootenai County Elections Office

An Idaho House committee has voted to change the years in which voters elect local and regional leaders.

In Idaho, and Washington for that matter, voters decide state and national races in even-numbered years and local races in odd-numbered years. That system shortchanges the local races, says Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt [R-Eagle].

ID House Committee Approves Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Bill

Mar 17, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

An Idaho Senate committee has advanced a bill that would prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The vote on Thursday came after testimony from people such as Angela Dwyer from Stanton Healthcare. That’s a Boise-based crisis pregnancy center.

Idaho Legislature Wades Into Dam Breaching Debate

Mar 8, 2021
Screenshot from Rep. Mike Simpson video

Idaho’s legislature has weighed into the newly-reignited regional conversation about whether to breach four lower Snake River dams. A Senate committee on Monday approved a memorial that praises the dams for the role they play in the regional economy and culture.

Idaho House Votes To Halt Abortion Funding

Mar 2, 2021
Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Idaho House approved a bill Tuesday that would prevent public funds controlled by the state from going to any person or organization that performs abortions.

Rep. Bruce Skaug [R-Nampa] says his bill would cut off most sources of public funding for abortions that are within the power of Idaho state government.

Reclaim Idaho

The Idaho Senate today [Monday] approved a bill that changes the requirements for initiative signatures to quality a measure for the ballot.
 
The bill requires initiative sponsors to collect signatures from at least 6% of registered voters in each of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts. The current law requires 6% in 18 districts.

Courtesy of Post Falls School District

With a teacher shortage in Idaho, state legislators are looking for ways to find enough qualified bodies to fill classrooms.

One central Idaho legislator has proposed allowing local school districts to create their own teacher selection guidelines. A House committee approved the idea Friday morning, even though the plan was heavily criticized by teachers during a hearing.

TVW screenshot

The Washington and Idaho legislatures are different in many ways. Democrats control both chambers in Olympia. Republicans are in charge in Boise.

But the pandemic has united legislators in the two states in one specific way. They’re each working to increase their authority during emergencies by calling themselves into special sessions. 

Courtesy of Post Falls School District

The Idaho Senate on Thursday approved two bills aimed at clarifying which entities have the authority to require schools and universities to close for public health emergencies.

Both take that authority away from public health districts.

State of Idaho

Idaho legislators have advanced a bill aimed at giving them more authority during emergency situations.

A Senate committee on Wednesday approved a proposal by Senator Kelly Arthur Anthon that clarifies the governor’s power during what it calls a “state of extreme peril.”

Courtesy of State of Idaho

The Idaho House on Tuesday approved several bills, including legislation aimed at people who served prison time after erroneous convictions and a bill that provides some protections for people who choose not to be vaccinated.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

An Idaho Senate committee said yes Tuesday to a bill that gives final authority over countywide public health orders to county commissioners.

Sen. Steve Vick [R-Coeur d'Alene] says a board of health vote to declare a mask mandate or other health-related restriction would have to pass one more hurdle before being enacted.

Idaho House Bill Targets "Targeted Picketing"

Feb 19, 2021
Idaho Public TV screenshot

An Idaho House committee voted Friday to make it illegal for protestors to picket in front of someone’s home.

The so-called “targeted picketing” bill is a response to two recent Covid-related protests in the Boise area.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho’s Senate on Wednesday heard testimony on legislation that would make it more difficult for citizens to place initiatives on statewide ballots.

Sen. Steve Vick’s [R-Dalton Gardens] bill would change the signature gathering requirements. Initiative sponsors currently need to collect signatures from at least 6% of the number of qualified voters in 18 of the 35 legislative districts. Vick would require 6% in all 35 districts.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

The Idaho legislature is one vote away from sending to the ballot a measure that would add to its powers.

“We’ve been, in my opinion and many others, unjustly restrained by the inability to call ourselves into session to deal with, in this case, emergency powers and the appropriation of public funds. That’s what this is all about," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder.

Idaho Public TV screenshot


The Idaho House took a step Tuesday toward limiting the governor’s authority and extending the legislature’s in managing emergencies, such as Covid.

The body voted 49-to-20 for a bill that requires the governor to terminate a disaster declaration as soon as he or she determines the immediate danger has passed.

Idaho Public TV screenshot

UPDATED: Friday, 3 pm with response from Idaho House Republicans. 

Idaho’s governor today [Friday] blasted legislative leaders who are pressuring him to end the state’s 10-month-old emergency declaration because of the coronavirus.

Those leaders believe the governor has overstepped his power. They’re proposing a variety of bills aimed at moving some of his emergency authority to the legislature.

Idaho Democrats Urge Delayed 2021 Legislative Session

Dec 15, 2020
Idaho Public TV screenshot

Idaho’s Democratic legislators want to postpone the start of next year’s legislative session until at least April.

Democratic leaders on Tuesday released a letter they sent to the majority Republican leaders.

ID Lawmakers Begin What May Be Final Special Session Day

Aug 26, 2020
Idaho Public Television

Idaho lawmakers have begun what may be the final day of their special legislative session.

Two bills and a resolution appear to still be in play.

Idaho House Committee Holds Voting Center Bill

Aug 25, 2020
State of Idaho

During Idaho’s special legislative session today [Tuesday] a House committee voted to hold a bill that allows counties to designate in-person voting centers. Any voter within a county could go to vote there on Election Day this November, regardless of whether the center is in their precinct.

Many county elections officials say the proposal provides additional options for voters at a time when some polling places are closed due to the coronavirus.  

Idaho Public Television

UPDATED 3 pm 

Protesters and a call to Governor Brad Little to drop the state's Covid emergency declaration were the highlights of  today’s [Tuesday’s] Idaho special legislation session.

In the first case, dozens of people filled an auditorium where a House committee was set to hear a bill that would limit Covid-related legal liabilities for businesses and schools.

Idaho Public Television

The Idaho Senate has approved a bill that adds an in-person voting option on Election Day in November.

The legislation was one of several bills to be considered during the first day of a special session.

Idaho Public Television

UPDATED: 2:55 pm

The Idaho Senate today [Monday] approved a bill that adds an in-person voting center option to supplement neighborhood polling places on Election Day in November.

“What we would do is make it possible for any voter to go to any location to vote," said Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, speaking during the first day of the Idaho special legislative session.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

If or when Washington and Oregon move to full-time Daylight Saving time, parts of Idaho may change right along with it.

The Idaho House today [Tuesday] voted to keep the northernmost 10 counties of the Gem State that now operate in Pacific time consistent with the neighboring states.

State of Idaho

An Idaho legislative committee has voted to dedicate money to help the state respond to a potential coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, the legislative budget committee voted to move $2 million from the general fund to the governor’s emergency fund.

Idaho has no confirmed cases of the virus yet, but it has tested samples collected from 27 people.

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