WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY — On Dec. 16 the Idaho House and Senate Minority Leadership sent a letter to the Idaho House Republican Caucus, requesting that the 2021 legislative session be delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To that letter, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke responded that the Idaho Constitution requires the Legislature to convene each session on the second Monday of January and requires a joint resolution with a two-thirds vote in order to change it.

“We are continuously working on a viable solution that will provide the maximum level of workplace comfort for all Members of the Idaho Legislature,” said Bedke. “We are duty bound to follow the Idaho Constitution and the rules of the Idaho House of Representatives and will continue to work within those parameters to find the best possible solution.”

Senator Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, added in a Jan. 5 email that she remains equally committed to starting the session on time.

“I will be in my seat ready work for my constituents and the people of Idaho on January 11,” wrote Lee. “I look forward to working this session to uphold our duties as set forth in the Constitution, while doing our best to protect the health, jobs, and freedoms of all Idaho citizens.”

Lee added that present Senate and House rules prohibit virtual meetings, instead requiring legislators to meet in the state capitol.

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