Week 10 at the Idaho Legislature

at the Statehouse (10)

Things have continued moving at a fast and furious pace. With the suggested Sine Die date fast approaching, both chambers have moved to holding two-a-day floor sessions in order to move backlogged legislation. 

As a reminder, “Sine Die” is the phrase used to describe the end of the legislative session. There’s a whole process to adjourn both chambers sine die, or without scheduling a next meeting. 

On to the bills!

  • SJR101 Constitutional Amendment on Initiatives and Referenda
    This Constitutional Amendment was heard in House State Affairs last week, with all testimony given in opposition. In an odd move by committee leadership, it was held subject to the call of the Chair. We expect it to come back through committee, where it would likely not get another full hearing, but would instead be sent directly to the floor. 

    SJR101 would be disastrous for the initiative process in Idaho, making it unusable and forcing voters to defend their Constitutional rights. We can kill this bill if we keep up pressure! Take action here
  • HB263 County Wide Districts (AKA making ACHD partisan)
    This legislation does a number of things and has a lot of concerning components. 1) It would make ACHD Commissioner elections partisan, which does nothing for safety and only increases political animosity 2) It ends current Commissioners’ terms early, ignoring the decisions of voters to elect these individuals, 3) It presents an opportunity for gerrymandering of new highway districts. 

    HB263 would insert political squabbling into a nonpartisan commission tasked with non-political work. You can take action here. The bill is expected to get a full hearing – possibly with or without amendments – in House Transportation this week. A note about House Transportation – the Committee Chair, Rep.Palmer, does not accept virtual testimony. When it’s up for a hearing, you will need to submit written testimony or show up in person. You can also submit a letter to the editor, talk with your friends and neighbors, and share the action tool. 
  • HB278 Clean Energy Code – Not again, IDLEG!
    In a continuation of the legislative battle that has raged since 2018, Rep. Palmer brings us HB278, which would further monkey with Idaho’s Clean Energy Code, removing exemptions for cities that have adopted cleaner standards than the 2018 International Codes. Additionally, the bill language is extremely broad, and could prohibit cities or local governments from giving guidance on clean energy. This is complicated stuff, but we’re working to stop the bill before it’s heard in Senate Commerce. 

There’s a ton of other bills moving – Municipal Areas of Impact (potentially bad), Bear World (very bad), New State Dinosaur (finally, something fun on the agenda!) and Trees v. Billboards (bad bill, but likely dead). Learn more about each of these bills and more at our bill tracker.