The weird Idaho legislature ends for unknown causes

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The longest term in Idaho was filled with unusual events, ending shortly before midnight on Wednesday on unknown ground.

The Idaho Senate voted for an official adjournment, while the House voted for a break until December 31st.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Kelly Anthon, an attorney, said this means that Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke may call the House back to session this year and, with a vote by its members, force the Senate to return as well could.

“In the spirit of the Idaho Constitution, we have to go home,” Anthon said of the part-time legislation. ‚ÄúThat we’re not here in Boise all year round. Even if this may be a procedural loophole, Idaho Republicans have no desire for it. “

During the extended break, the legislature would not receive any daily rates. Wednesday was day 122 of the meeting, beating the 118-day meeting from 2003.

The Republican-dominated legislature was embroiled in a month-long battle with Republican Governor Brad Little. The Senate is happy with the results, while the House has concerns.

The session included a two-week hiatus as COVID-19 infected half a dozen members of the House, mostly Republicans, who do not normally wear masks. And a freshman Republican lawmaker resigned on rape allegations and after an ethics committee recommended that he be expelled from the house.

The meeting resulted in a sharp cut in income tax and a discount. In the last days of the meeting, a new law to ease property tax was passed, which opponents say is deeply flawed and is described by supporters as better than nothing. significant means of transport; and a new law that could result in 90% of Idaho’s 1,500 wolves being killed.

Legislators also adopted critical racial theory after Conservative Republicans refused to pass a jam of education laws that Democratic lawmakers labeled a hostage situation.

The bill, which ultimately unleashed more than $ 1 billion in education, prevents schools and universities from “indoctrinating” students by teaching critical racial theory, which examines how race and racism affect American politics, culture, and that affect American law.

The bill allows the teaching of critical racial theory but prohibits the imposition of belief systems on students who claim that a group of people, as defined by gender, race, ethnicity, or religion, is inferior or superior to others.

Legislature approved and Little signed a bill aimed at thwarting half a dozen executive acts by President Joe Biden to combat gun violence, including a crackdown on “ghost weapons” – homemade firearms assembled from purchased gun parts that lack serial numbers tracking They do them and are often acquired without a background check.

Little also signed laws that make electoral initiatives significantly more difficult and require 6% of registered voters in all 35 districts of Idaho to sign within 18 months. The previous law required 6% of registered voters in each of the 18 legislative districts within 18 months. The new law immediately triggered a judicial challenge that will have an impact in the coming months.

Little has signed a law banning almost all abortions in the Conservative state by banning them once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Little has signed the bill, which contains a “trigger rule,” which means it won’t go into effect until a federal appeals court somewhere in the country upholds similar laws in another state.

Among the notable laws that failed was a bill banning mask mandates. Due to the pandemic, Little never issued a nationwide mask mandate, but some counties and cities did.

A house panel lawmakers voted to kill the popular Powerball game, which offers huge jackpots for fear of foreign participation. However, negotiations to join Australia in 2021 and Britain in 2022 in Powerball failed, meaning Idaho doesn’t need a legislative change this year to continue participating.

The House and Senate passed laws that allow voters to decide in November 2022 whether the part-time legislation can convene special sessions. If voters approve, lawmakers could call themselves back to session if 60% of lawmakers in each House and Senate approve. Supporters say that without this power, legislation is not an equal branch of government. Opponents fear that this could lead to a full-time legislature.