Some Idaho lawmakers had been holding out hope that the legislative session might wrap up by Friday, March 29, at the end of Week 12, but it was not to be.
It is not clear at this point how long the legislative session may go– lawmakers have mentioned perhaps Wednesday, April 3. We’ll see how the remaining work unfolds.
(Screen grab: ‘Idaho in Session,’ March 29, 2019)
The Idaho House on Friday passed S 1159, the bill to tighten the requirements to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot in Idaho. House lawmakers also passed H 296, a trailer to the Senate bill.
There was extended debate in the House. As examples:
“This is not an action to prevent voters,” Rep. Sage Dixon (R-Ponderay) said in presenting the bill. “It is an action to encourage voters, to make sure that the system of elected representation is working correctly.”
“No government should ever fear a vote by the people,” Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) said on the House floor, debating against the bill.
(Cheyenne McCurry photo)
In some of the other news:
• H 122, the hemp research and development act, was amended in the Senate Wednesday to clarify interstate transportation of hemp. It is on the THird Reading Calendar in the Senate.
• There were no Senate amendments on Thursday for S 1204, a Medicaid expansion sideboards bill, and it stayed in the 14th Order.
• The Idaho House on Wednesday approved H 289, the FY ’19 supplemental appropriation of almost $10.6 million for a State Capitol remodel designed to give House lawmakers more space, and involving the relocation of the State Treasurer. It is on the Senate Calendar in Second Reading.
• After considerable debate, the Idaho House voted 31-39 to reject HR 6, the resolution from Dist. 7 Rep. Priscilla Gidding calling for an end to Christian persecution.
• The Idaho House State Affairs Committee passed amended legislation creating a federalism committee. It’s on the House calendar.
• The Idaho Senate has approved a concurrent resolution authorizing an interim committee to study the effect of Medicaid expansion on counties. It goes to the House.
The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Friday approved a new FY ‘20 appropriation bill for the Idaho State Board of Education; it totals about $15.3 million.
A new appropriation bill was needed after the original was defeated in the House.
The bill removes funds for the School Turnaround Act, which was defeated in the House.
JFAC estimates there are four trailer appropriations to come.
Week 13 begins on Monday, April 1, 2019. Monday is the 85th legislative day of the 65th Idaho Legislature.
Reporters Cheyenna McCurry and Glenn Mosley contributed to this report.
Posted March 31, 2019.