Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports It took five years, but the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab has tested the last previously untested sexual assault kit in Idaho. The final test came after 2016 legislation, pitched by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, identified a backlog of not just untested sexual assault kits, but kits that hadn’tContinue reading “Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years”

Ethics committee weighs changes to hearing policy, transparency

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Committee on Ethics and House Policy met this week to review the House rule which led to the public hearings of two legislators accused of conduct unbecoming of a legislator.  In 2021, the committee received complaints about former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger and Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-Whitebird. Both wereContinue reading “Ethics committee weighs changes to hearing policy, transparency”

Little gives brief glimpse at 2022 priorities at Wednesday speech

by Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports During brief remarks at the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho annual conference on Wednesday, Gov. Brad Little hinted at his priorities for the upcoming 2022 legislative session. “This upcoming session, I will reveal my plans on how to give back to the people of Idaho yet another record budget surplus —Continue reading “Little gives brief glimpse at 2022 priorities at Wednesday speech”

EMS providers struggle in rural Idaho, OPE reports

Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports  Depending on where Idahoans live, access to emergency medical services is not a guarantee, according to a new report from the Office of Performance Evaluations.  In a letter to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Nov. 16, OPE Director Rakesh Mohan explained “insufficient staffing means patients in these areas face longerContinue reading “EMS providers struggle in rural Idaho, OPE reports”

36 COVID-19 bills introduced, only 1 memorial made it out of the capitol

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Legislature brought 104 lawmakers to the statehouse to address COVID-19 vaccines, who pitched 36 different bills. After three days and hours of testimony and debate, they passed a single joint memorial, then adjourned and went home. Bills that tanked ranged from employee protections to religious exemptions for vaccinesContinue reading “36 COVID-19 bills introduced, only 1 memorial made it out of the capitol”

Workers’ comp has paid more than $2 million connected to COVID

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Legislature considered amending the workers’ compensation law in Idaho to include vaccine injuries, but the state has already paid out more than $2 million for COVID-19 illnesses and vaccine injuries. Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, pitched HB 417, which would require businesses that mandate their employees to be vaccinatedContinue reading “Workers’ comp has paid more than $2 million connected to COVID”

House passes 3 bills on exemptions to opt-out of pandemic rules

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho House of Representatives approved three bills Tuesday that would allow people to receive exemptions to avoid mandatory vaccination and to allow children to avoid face masks in schools.  House bill 414, sponsored by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, would add religious exemptions to the Idaho Human RightsContinue reading “House passes 3 bills on exemptions to opt-out of pandemic rules”

Senate moving methodically on COVID legislation 

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports  An influential Senate committee held an informational meeting Tuesday morning on four COVID-related bills, in which the lawmakers did not vote on any of the proposals after hearing from bill sponsors and members of the public. “The reason I feel it’s important that we do this is it’s a limitedContinue reading “Senate moving methodically on COVID legislation “

Bill to amend workers’ compensation for vaccine injuries passes House

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee has moved forward a bill that would amend the Idaho worker’s compensation law to include vaccine-related injuries if an employer mandates a vaccine. Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, introduced HB 417, saying if an employer mandates a vaccination, they should be held accountable forContinue reading “Bill to amend workers’ compensation for vaccine injuries passes House”

Business Committee hears 8 bills on vaccine mandates

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports On Monday, the House Business Committee heard eight bills during the extraordinarily long 2021 Legislative session, all of which focused on vaccines. The bills were introduced during a 7:30 am meeting, and landed in committee at 1:30 pm. Several people offering testimony commented on the lack of time available toContinue reading “Business Committee hears 8 bills on vaccine mandates”