Week 7 at the Idaho Legislature

at the Statehouse (7)

With the deadline to introduce new legislation to non-privileged committees passed, this week we saw a slew of new bills. 

Let’s break down what’s moving:

Some of what we’re supporting:

SB1051 Outfitters & Guides Liability – This bill passed the Senate today. It will better protect Idaho outfitters and guides from frivolous lawsuits and bring the law in line with what other western states do to balance safety and the protections offered for other outdoor recreation industries like ski areas. 

SB1049 Notices for Endowment Land – This bill passed the Senate today. It gives the Idaho Department of Lands more tools to prevent abuse of state endowment resources – reckless off roading, dumping, and other costly misuses of state lands. 

SB1078 Voters’ Guides – This bill should be heard tomorrow or Friday on the Senate floor. It directs the Idaho Secretary of State to distribute a free voter guide for the primary and general elections. In this guide will be information not only on proposed Constitutional Amendments and initiatives, but on candidates. Individuals running will have seven days to submit a short bio and photo. There are two components to this legislation – if passed, SB1078 will also need funding from the state to cover the associated fiscal impact. A vote on the Secretary of State’s budget is expected soon. 

Some of what we’re opposing: 

SJR101 Constitutional Amendment Initiatives & Referenda – We expected this bill to get a vote last Friday, but so far the Senate has been moving slowly. Their agenda is backing up, but that gives us more time to add pressure! If you haven’t already, take action and ask your Senator for a NO vote on the amendment that would make the citizens’ initiative impossible. 

SB1079 Consolidation of Elections – This bill is up for a full hearing in Senate State Affairs sometime in the next week or so. It will lump municipal elections (currently held in odd years) in with even year elections for Governor, congressional seats, the Legislature, and others. Consolidating elections would add non-partisan races to a partisan ballot, and add length to an already long ticket. The bill would also limit bond and levy elections to only the general election in November of even years, further limiting voter engagement in local issues.

All the other things! 

Check out our bill tracker to read up on other legislation we’re engaging on this session. You can learn more about everything from an EV Road Usage Charge (SB1065 – support!) to a Move the Border Memorial (HJM101 – oppose!) on our bill list.