The Idaho Legislature’s joint budget committee bogged down in a big way on Wednesday over the state Liquor Division budget, as Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, led an ultimately unsuccessful move to try to reject funding for two new state liquor stores in the Treasure Valley – one of them in his own district.
An Idaho Senate committee chairman apologized on Tuesday for violating Senate rules a day earlier by convening an impromptu – and likely illegal – closed meeting of his committee, over a move to force a hearing on House-passed legislation to legalize medical use of CBD oil in Idaho.
Idaho lawmakers set a budget for the state’s community colleges on Tuesday that exceeds Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal, which would have resulted in a cut to North Idaho College’s budget and stopped the expansion of the Coeur d’Alene institution’s popular new computer science program.
After an emotional debate, the Idaho House on Tuesday narrowly rejected legislation to mirror federal law by barring those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence against an intimate partner from possessing guns for two years.
The Idaho Senate voted 29-5 on Monday in favor of legislation to reverse a 2016 change in Idaho law that made it easier for employers to sue former employees over non-compete agreements – and also drew Idaho a slew of negative national publicity.
If Sen. Steve Vick had his way, North Idaho would be on Mountain standard time year round – so it’d be in the same time zone as Boise in the winter, but wouldn’t change clocks for daylight-saving time in the summer.
Idaho lawmakers have set a budget for the state Department of Correction next year that reflects a 7.6 percent increase in state funds and nearly doubles funding for county and out-of-state inmate placements to $21.2 million.
The Idaho House has voted 52-16 in favor of Rep. Joe Palmer’s bill to forbid local communities from adopting any residential building code provisions that are more up-to-date or more stringent than those adopted by a state board.
Builders, architects and local officials from across Idaho urged strongly against it – as did the state association of fire chiefs – but a House committee on Tuesday passed legislation to forbid cities or counties from adopting any residential building code provisions that are more up-to-date or more stringent than those adopted by a state board.
Gov. Butch Otter’s dual-waiver Idaho Health Care Plan was pulled from the Idaho House on Tuesday without a vote and sent back to committee, a dramatic defeat for Otter and others who have pushed for five years to close the state’s health coverage gap.
Rep. Heather Scott says she has an answer to school shootings: More retired law enforcement officers carrying concealed guns when they pick up their grandchildren from school. Scott proposed one of four bills dealing with guns that were debated in the Idaho Legislature on Monday; all dealt with gun rights or gun safety rather than gun control.
The Idaho House has voted 67-1 in favor of legislation by Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, to make sure rape victims’ own health insurance isn’t charged for the cost of preparing sexual assault evidence kits, as has been happening under current law – with just North Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri dissenting.
Coeur d’Alene Rep. Paul Amador successfully blocked Rep. Heather Scott’s amendment to her own bill limiting bond and levy elections on Friday, offering his own instead, and the bill ended up sidelined and may be dead for the session.
Education would improve in Idaho if the state moved its school board elections from May to November, Coeur d’Alene Sen. Mary Souza told a Senate committee on Friday, to give them more visibility and draw more voter participation. The committee approved Souza’s bill on a party-line vote, with just two minority Democrats dissenting.
Legislation to protect breast-feeding mothers by exempting breast-feeding from Idaho’s indecent exposure and obscenity laws has passed the Idaho House unanimously – a big turnaround from 15 years ago, when pro-breast-feeding legislation was rejected amid concerns from male legislators that women would be prompted to “
In a first-time pilot project, the Idaho Legislature will take remote testimony on three bills that are up for hearings Monday in the House Education Committee. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, 8 a.m. Pacific; those who’d like to testify must sign up at least 24 hours in advance, then come out to one of six sites around the state, located in Post Falls, Moscow, Twin Falls, Pocatello, Idaho Falls and Salmon.
Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, who startled security experts at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, over the weekend with threats of a clash of “biblical proportions” between the United States and North Korea, said today that he meant every word of it – but only if North Korea uses nuclear weapons first.