By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
The House State Affairs Committee introduced a bill Wednesday that would withhold sales and use tax revenues from any city that threatened to defy state abortion law.
Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa, introduced the bill to amend the existing No Public Funds for Abortion Act.
The bill also clarifies that the “use of public funds for abortion prohibited” section does not mean that classrooms are prohibited from discussion on the subject of abortion, as some universities expressed concern about the language in the first draft that passed in 2021.
The bill states that any mayor, council, board of commissioners, or other city or county governing body may not issue an ordinance, resolution, executive order, or proclamation directing or refusing to enforce provisions of any Idaho criminal abortion statutes. If it does, the state tax commission would withhold sales and tax revenue.
The bill allows the governmental entity 180 days to rescind any proclamation. If it does, the state tax commission shall restore any money held back.
Skaug told Idaho Reports after the introduction that he was not targeting any one city. Boise is the only city, as of Wednesday, to publicly pass a resolution stating it will not prioritize enforcing Idaho abortion law.
The resolution, passed in July by Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and the City Council, states the city will not prioritize investigations for the purpose of prosecuting abortion providers, and the city will not use funds to assist in furthering any civil actions.
The civil action the resolution targeted is part of the state’s Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act. The law allows family members of a fetus to sue an abortion provider, including pregnancies resulting from rape.
Idaho Reports reached out to the city of Boise for comment on Wednesday morning but did not receive an immediate response. This story will be updated if a response is received.