Senator pitches bill to limit legislative session days

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports

The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced a bill Wednesday that would limit the amount of time legislators could remain in session each year.

Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon, sponsored the bill, which would mandate the legislature adjourn by the last Friday in March, with only three exceptions. 

The bill comes after 2021 was the longest legislative session in history, lasting 311 days. The Senate chose to adjourn in May last year, but the House only went into recess. The House did come back in November before it adjourned for the year.

Guthrie’s bill would allow for exemptions on adjournment if the legislature was waiting for a governor’s veto, if the state remained under a declared state of emergency, or if there was a two-thirds vote of support from both the House and Senate to extend the session.  

Senate State Affairs voted unanimously to introduce the bill. 

A similar bill was pitched in 2021 to limit the number of days in session, but never passed in the House. 

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