Oddly, GOP gubernatorial candidate Raul Labrador sent out a statement last week headlined, “Labrador praises conservatives in the Idaho Legislature for rejecting Medicaid expansion,” saying of the Idaho Health Care Plan bill that was sent back to committee from the House rather than debated and voted up or down on Wednesday, “There’s no question this proposal would have expanded Medicaid and made thousands of Idahoans dependent on the government for their healthcare.”
Here’s some of the reaction in Idaho on Friday to Sen. Jim Risch’s move Thursday to try to strip out the renaming of the White Clouds Wilderness in Idaho for the late Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus – which delayed the Senate’s vote on the must-pass budget bill until after midnight, forcing some senators to be rousted from bed for the vote and throwing into disarray the travel plans of other senators who had official overseas congressional delegation trips scheduled to depart on Thursday night.
House Democrats mounted a final effort to do something for at least some of those who fall into Idaho’s health coverage gap on Thursday, when Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, tried to move a bipartisan family-planning bill up for debate.
Plans for Idaho’s legislative session to wrap up this week went awry on Thursday, when the House Republican Caucus insisted it wants to extend the session for a full five days after the final bills are presented to the governor, to give lawmakers a chance to try to override any veto.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Wednesday allowed a “stand your ground” gun-rights bill to become law without his signature – though he said it would legally allow mischievous Idaho kids to be shot to death.
For the second time this year – and after six straight years of inaction – the Idaho House on Wednesday sent the governor’s health coverage gap bill back to committee, rather than debate it and vote it up or down.
Idaho lawmakers have come up with a new budget for the state superintendent of schools that includes the statewide rollout next year of a new version of the state’s reading assessment test for kindergartners through third-graders – which had been left out of the previous version of the budget bill.
The Idaho House on Monday voted 37-32 in favor expanding Idaho’s Opportunity Scholarship program to also cover “adult completers” who are returning to school to finish their degrees – handing Gov. Butch Otter a win on a long-sought initiative he’s been pushing for the past three years.
Amid much confusion, the House Education Committee voted along party lines last week to introduce a concurrent resolution repeating its earlier call for deleting portions of Idaho’s proposed new school science standards, even though the Senate Education Committee already has voted to approve the standards – which means they’ll take effect.
The Idaho House on Friday killed the budget bill for state Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra’s office for next year, amid dispute over plans to replace the state’s early reading assessment test with a new, computerized version.
House Bill 665, which expands Idaho’s laws on violent threats against schools cleared the Idaho Senate Friday on an overwhelming 32-1 vote, with several senators citing the big student protest against gun violence at the Capitol this week.
Health care advocates rallied at the Idaho Capitol on Thursday, calling for lawmakers to take back up Gov. Butch Otter’s health coverage gap proposal, which was pulled from the House floor without a vote two weeks ago. But lawmakers are showing few signs that they’ll do so; they’re pushing hard to adjourn this year’s legislative session as soon as next week.
Idaho lawmakers passed a “stand your ground” law on Tuesday that supporters said will simply write into law provisions that have existed in Idaho case law and jury instructions for a century, though opponents questioned that.
Idaho lawmakers on Monday unexpectedly killed popular legislation to create a “pet-friendly” special license plate to benefit low-cost spay and neutering services in rural Idaho – and they killed it not just once, but twice.
After a stormy debate, the Idaho House voted 46-20 on Monday to ease some of the state’s mandatory minimum drug sentences in cases where a judge finds imposing them would be a “manifest injustice” and there’s no danger to society. “We are not condoning drugs – we have to make that very, very clear here,” Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, told the House. But she said Idaho’s current mandatory minimum sentence laws define an offense as “drug trafficking” based solely on possession of certain quantities of specific drugs – and require lengthy prison terms even for first offenders and those who only had the drugs for personal use.
Eight days after a stunned Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said lawmakers had “gutted” his budget, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee did a re-do, and relented on providing $1.2 million in one-time funds next year for an elections system technological upgrade.
The Trump administration sent a letter to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter on Thursday turning thumbs-down on his proposal to allow the sale of health insurance plans in Idaho that aren’t compliant with the Affordable Care Act.
Two Idaho state representatives who are facing off in the GOP primary for Idaho’s 1st District congressional seat went head-to-head over drug sentencing laws this week, as the House Judiciary Committee sided with Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, and passed her bill over the objections of Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene.