Gov. Butch Otter signed 41 bills into law on Thursday and Friday. Among them: SB 1066, the bill creating a new presidential primary election on the second Tuesday in March; it carries a $2 million price tag. I’m awaiting comment from Otter’s office on why he supported the bill.
Others: HB 170a, authorizing “Pay for Success” contracting for school districts; HB 291, creating a new exemption from the Idaho public records law for voluntary sage grouse conservation plans; HB 301, revamping Idaho’s concealed-carry gun laws, clarifying that no permits are require to carry concealed guns outside city limits and keeping the current exemption from permit requirements for elected officials; HB 302, setting up a new state STEM Action Center under the governor’s office.
SB 1071a requires Idaho high school graduates to pass the same civics test that new immigrants take for citizenship; SB 1154, allows expungement of the criminal records of victims of human trafficking for offenses related to their enslavement, such as prostitution.
Otter also signed all seven bills that make up the public school budget, which overall will see a 7.4 percent increase in state funding next year.