Idaho House of Representatives
In the House Revenue & Taxation Committee, Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star introduced a bill that would change the Idaho tax filing date to May 17 to match the IRS’ change earlier this week. H0use Bill 347 bill is being fast-tracked through the legislature. It passed out of committee and will go straight to House’s 2nd Reading Calendar.
House bill 137 and RS28850
In House State Affairs this morning, House bill 137 was held in committee, and RS28850 was sent to the floor. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Julianne Young, Blackfoot, and Jason Hancock from the Secretary of State office, would allow the Secretary of State to order a post-election audit of election resulted after a general or primary election. This bill would provide county clerks 60 days after the election to follow the procedures for the audit.
House bill 319 also passed out of House State Affairs this morning. This legislation is sponsored by Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, and Rep. Sage Dixion, R-Ponderay. The purpose of this bill is to encourage or increase voter participation in elections for their city officials. This legislation plans to accomplish this by moving the elections for city officers, mayors, and municipal bonds and levies to even-numbered years rather than odd years so that city elections can be included in the November general election ballot. This was a full hearing for the bill. There was a good amount of testimonies for and against this legislation. But it did pass.
Idaho House Floor
Commentary: Today the House spent some time in the 14th order, the amending of bills. They brought House Bill 311 and Senate Bill 1139a to be amended.
House Bill 311, by Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, would require 60% approval from voters in a Mayor November election before any local entity could install publicly funded art that costs more than $25,000. Von Ehlinger would allow the public to be more involved in the decision-making process of taxpayer-funded public art displays in their communities give them a voice in that matter. This bill was up for amendments and Von Ellinger made a motion to approve the amendments. He claimed that the amendments to the bill would make the bill more friendly to the local government. Rep. John Webber, R-Rexburg, agreed against the bill that this bill was too heavy-handed to the local government. The amendments failed.
Senate Bill 1136a was amended with a few word changes to make the bill stronger but doesn’t change the bill much overall. The bigger change I think that was mentioned was that they switch out “legislation” to legislative action”. This broadens the action the legislature can take regarding states of emergency. This legislation is sponsored by Sen. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, intends to add needed changes to Idaho’s Disaster Preparedness Act, in Idaho Code Section 46-1008, the section that handles the governor’s emergency powers. This legislation includes limiting how long Idaho can be in a state emergency, it would declare all Idaho workers are essential, protect for rights to assemble, freedom of religion, and gun rights; and restore checks and balances. The bill has been added to the reading calendar and should be voted on the floor soon!
House Bill 339, sponsored by Rep. Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony was up for a vote today on the House Floor. This bill would ban mask mandates in Idaho. This bill does not apply to private organizations, only prohibits the state and political subdivisions from establishing a mask mandate. This bill does not apply to hospitals. However during the debate, Rep. Greg Chaney, R- Caldwell rose in opposition of the bill claiming that mask mandates are Constitutional, they haven’t been challenged in court. Mask can be appropriate in other circumstances and it would be fair for the government to mandate masks. In the middle of the debate, Majority Leader, Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star asked if they could go at ease to talk with Rep. Greg Chaney, R- Caldwell, Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, and Rep. Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony about this issue. After they went at ease, the House decided to send her bill back to the amending order for an amendment. I heard the amendment will include the exemptions of the courts from the bill along with the hospital. They have jurisdiction over their courthouses.
The Idaho Senate
In the Senate Education Committee, House Bill 221, sponsored by Rep. Charlie Shepherd, R-Pollock, Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-Plymouth, and Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley had a hearing. This bill would broaden the pool of teacher applicants by allowing school districts and public charter schools to create local teaching certificates. The SEnator’s voted to hold this bill in committee.
Today the Senate killed Senate Bill 1108 aa,aa, sponsored by Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, legislation that adjusts “the formula for the growth of property tax budgets and provides relief for property owners from increasing property tax. The bill died on 17-18 vote. This bill has been off and on the amending order for a bit.
The Governor’s Office
A press release from Governor Little’s office stated the following “During a press conference today, Governor Brad Little emphasized the need to direct the billions of dollars allocated for Idaho from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into long-range investments that will benefit our grandchildren – the generation that will have to pay off the massive federal debt.
Governor Little said he will work closely with the Legislature in allocating the funds. He said he will spend time traveling the state to meet with legislators, business groups, and others on the best ways to strategically invest the funds.”
To read all our notes from the 2021 session, click HERE.