PAYETTE COUNTY — One bill being fast-tracked on the Idaho Legislature’s docket could spell doom for a billboard presently located on the Highway 95 Business Loop in Payette and any similar ones throughout Idaho. Another four take aim at the Governor’s emergency declaration powers, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Those are just two examples of legislation that rushed through the pipelines this week as the Legislature went into a week-long recess Wednesday, in case of veto action, rather than adjourn sine die, as reported by MagicValley.com. This means the 2021 session will break the record for the longest in state history, the record being 118 days as set in 2003.
Following are examples of bills which saw significant action since April 30.
House of Representatives
• Following the failure of House Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1136 to curtail Gov. Brad Little’s emergency powers, the latter failing to gain an override by one vote in the Senate, the House is giving it another go with House Bills 391, 392 and 393, as introduced by the Ways and Means Committee. According to its statement of purpose, 391 aims to protect constitutional rights by amending Idaho Code to say they “can not be suspended because of a declared emergency.” 392 is aimed at reserving the authority to create and change laws “to the legislature and that during a declared emergency that the executive branch can not change laws.” 393 aims to protect jobs as being essential under the law “and that any restrictions during a declared emergency be narrowly tailored to not place restrictions based on job type or classification.”
All three passed House on Tuesday, before passing the Senate Wednesday. They have all been transmitted to Little’s office for his signature.
• To maintain consistency in application of legislation enacted during this session, House Bill 394 sets the effective date for bills signed by Little which don’t have an emergency clause at July 1. As stated in Article III, Section 22 of the Idaho Constitution, ““No act shall take effect until sixty days from the end of the session at which the same shall have been passed, except in case of emergency, which emergency shall be declared in the preamble or in the body of the law. Consequently, if the legislative session extends beyond May 2nd, the effective dates of all legislation that does not have an emergency clause will be delayed.”
Introduced Monday by Ways and Means, it passed the House 64-1-4 on Tuesday and the Senate 34-1-0 Wednesday. It was delivered to Little for his signature Thursday.
• The Senate State Affairs committee is contributing to the House’s pushback against Little’s disaster declaration with Senate Bill 1217.
“This legislation repeals and replaces [Idaho Code] 46-601 delegating authority to the governor to act in a state of extreme emergency, clarifying and limiting the powers of the governor during episodes of extreme emergency without concurrence by the legislature, protecting Idaho workers as essential, reaffirming the legislature’s authority to end emergency declarations and/or emergency orders, protects the suspension of the right to peaceable assembly and free exercise of religion, protects Idahoans’ right to bear arms during emergencies and prohibits a governor from unilaterally altering or suspending Idaho Code,” its statement reads.
Introduced Wednesday, it passed the Senate 28-7-0 and the House 48-8-13 the same day and was delivered to Little on Thursday.
• Oregon marijuana dispensaries with billboards in Idaho may soon have to take them down, especially if Senate Bill 1218 passes. Introduced by the State Affairs Committee Wednesday, it would amend Idaho Code 37-2734A to prohibit “the commercial promotion or advertisement of schedule I controlled substances in the state of Idaho” per its statement. The bill was fast-tracked to a second reading and passed 21-14-0 the same day. It has been sent to the House for its vote as of Friday.
Following are examples of bills introduced this week.
• To clarify the application of Senate Bill 1110, Ways and Means introduced House Bill 403 this week: “SB 1110 applies to all ballot measures intended for the general election held in November 2022 and thereafter,” its statement reads, in part.
Its first reading was Wednesday. The former bill was signed into law by Little on April 17.
• House Bill 406, introduced by Ways and Means this week, seeks to address civil liability for unauthorized disclosure of “intimate images.” It received its first reading Wednesday.
• A rule rejection came in the form of Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 by State Affairs.
“This concurrent resolution reflects the negotiated approval and rejection of certain public defense commission rules achieved by the Public Defense Commission and various stakeholders,” its statement reads. “The approval and rejection of these rules as noted in this resolution were approved by both the Senate and House Judiciary and Rules Committees.”
It was adopted by a voice vote on Wednesday.
Little has five days to act on each bill sent to his desk, not counting Sundays. To keep track of bills being considered during this session, visit https://bit.ly/2SB8cvG.