Idaho House of Representatives
This legislation passed the Senate recently and is sponsored by Sen. Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs. The bill amends the Idaho code by adding language to allow Idaho to recover federal funds after a Declaration of State Emergency has expired. The bill passed the committee and is heading to the Hosue Floor for a vote.
The House Ways & Means Committee has voted to introduce a new version of House Bill 342 introduced by Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian. This legislation if passed would raise the number of state sales tax revenues shifted from the general fund to roads and bridges from the current 1% to 4.5%. Additionally, the new legislation would send $80 million of the amount shifted to the Idaho Transportation Department to bond for big projects.
Idaho House Floor
The House convened at noon today after an 18-day recess. During the meeting, Rep. Ben Adams, R-Nampa asked the speaker of the House for three and a half minutes privileged to address the members of the body. He began his speech by saying,
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back. if you’re not already, wake up. Do we need to be reminded of the words of Patrick Henry? That liberty ought to be the direct end of our government? Liberty, sir, was the primary object.”
During his three and a half minute privilege, Adams passionately criticizes federal policy such as vaccine passports, breaching Idaho’s dams, indoctrinating Idaho youth. He also pointed out how Government is borrowing money from Americans who have not even been born yet. Adams stated, “Either lead, follow or get the hell out of the way…Because you cannot spend the people’s money and buy them with their own money forever.”
He then urged his fellow legislators to “stand up!” and protect the sovereignty of Idaho.
This piece of legislation is sponsored by Rep. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa. This piece of legislation would bar anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing cigarettes or electronic smoking products making it consistent with federal law. Last year President Trump signed legislation that would restrict tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21. Also adds that no local government can impose stricter regulations than what is allowed at the state level. Failed, 28-40.
This legislation is the first of its kind in Idaho and it seeks to adjust systems for payment from dental plan benefits/providers. This piece of legislation would prohibit a fee for check/cash payment. Also, this bill requires that a plan provider has to let a dentist know if they lease out certain services. On the Floor, Rep. Greg Ferch, R-Bosie, debated that it levels the playing field until we get to a place where we actually have the free market in health care, even though it seems like added regulation. Passed 49-17.
This bill addresses how law enforcements handle lost property. Currently, under law, they are required to keep lost property for 6 months. This bill would help them spend less to store property and be able to sell items by allowing them to hold items for less time. This legislation changes hold time for bicycles to 60 days and allow police to hold everything else for 90 days. Note that cell phones, etc are reclaimed quickly. Senate Bill 1119 was brought to the legislature at the request of the sheriffs. Passed, 49-20.
This bill addresses the zero-tolerance policy on weapons in schools. This policy has led to unintended consequences. An example of that is when an Idaho boy was given a pocket knife for scouts but accidentally left it in his pocket. The boy was expelled from school. This legislation would give the school boards full authority to consider the circumstances before expelling. Passed unanimously.
The piece of legislation would update current law to allow registering a recently purchased vehicle at the dealership, bank, or credit union. Title tags everything sent to the buyer’s address. Unanimously passed.
This bill address appropriates fund for the 2022 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Welfare budget. The bill allots $199,726,500 and caps the number of authorized full-time equivalent positions at 618.50. Some of the money would have been used like PPP loans but for childcare. 33 million in one-time federal funds from covid, and those are the funds that are going to help child care providers through loans. They have struggled to stay afloat with kids staying home more from the pandemic. Failed, 27-42.
This legislation failed on the House Floor 28-40. This bill would have regulated contracts between property owners and tenants by requiring lease agreements or other written agreements to spell out rental fees.
Today the Senate voted on the body voted on Senate Bill 1183 or in other words the Heartbeat bill. The Heartbeat bill prohibits abortion procedures when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. There are exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is at risk. The bill has a trigger clause which means that it becomes effective by a decision upholding a restriction or ban on abortion of a preborn child with a heartbeat by any United States appellate court. There was a long conversation regarding this bill, however, in the end, the bill passed 28-7! Many were in support of this bill because they believe that life begins at conception. Others felt that the bill didn’t do enough but support the bill because they want to save any lives they could. Other’s felt that this bill was legislating morality or would make it nearly impossible for victims of rape to have an abortion because a police report required.
The Senate also talked about House bill 294aaS sponsored by Representative Horman and Senator Lori Dehatog. This legislation would allow families to take their children’s education dollars to the education provider of their choosing. The original legislation would have established a Strong Students Grant Program and the Strong Students Scholarship Program, which provide funds to eligible students for certain education expenses. however, the bill was amended to remove the Strong Student scholarship program. There was a very long discussion on this bill. May Senators felt they couldn’t support the amended version of this bill. The bill failed 16-18-1.
To read all our notes from the 2021 session, click HERE.