The House has voted 60-9 in favor of HB 324, the new version of Rep. Linden Bateman’s bill to raise fines for Idaho Open Meeting Law violations. The earlier bill, HB 155, earlier passed the House on a 58-11 vote, but was amended in the Senate; then, there was a drafting error in the amendments, so the House introduced a new version.
Bateman told the House, “It just increases the civil penalties more or less to inflation. There have not been any changes in 41 years to this.” The bill would raise the fine for a simple violation from $50 to $250; for a knowing violation from $500 to $1,500; and for knowing, repeat violations, from $500 to $2,500. To become law, HB 324 still needs to pass the Senate and receive the governor’s signature.
Following that vote, the House adjourned until 11 a.m. tomorrow; both the majority and minority parties announced they’ll caucus immediately after adjournment.