Outside of normal session, legislators introduce 36 potential bills

By Ruth Brown and Logan Finney, Idaho Reports On day 309 of the record-breaking 2021 legislative session, Idaho lawmakers reconvened to introduce an avalanche of bills related to federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.  On Monday morning, the House Ways and Means Committee introduced 29 bills, while the Senate State Affairs Committee introduced seven.  Legislative leadership previouslyContinue reading “Outside of normal session, legislators introduce 36 potential bills”

Chairman Wood confirms no Health and Welfare hearing this session

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports While the House Business Committee heard hours of testimony on vaccine and testing mandates, House Health and Welfare Committee chairman Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, spent Monday afternoon in his office, reading nine bills that House Speaker Scott Bedke had assigned to his committee.  “And I’ll not answer any further questionsContinue reading “Chairman Wood confirms no Health and Welfare hearing this session”

Budget committee shoots down federal overreach fund

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports  The joint budget committee shot down a new legal fund for the legislature Monday afternoon, voting 12-6 against the proposal.  The bill from Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, would have created a Federal Overreach Legal Defense Fund for the legislature’s legal expenses in defending the state from overreach by the federalContinue reading “Budget committee shoots down federal overreach fund”

House votes to censure Giddings

By Ruth Brown and Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The Idaho House of Representatives voted 49-19 on Monday to censure Rep. Priscilla Giddings, of White Bird, after the House Ethics Committee conducted a public hearing this summer. The vote came after a tense debate. At the beginning, members of the committee, as well as House SpeakerContinue reading “House votes to censure Giddings”

Ex-legislator accused of rape pleads not guilty

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports District Judge Michael Reardon accepted a not guilty plea Monday in the case involving a former legislator accused of raping a legislative intern.  Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, of Juliaetta, is charged on accusations of rape and forcible penetration with a foreign object, both felony charges.  He pleaded not guilty toContinue reading “Ex-legislator accused of rape pleads not guilty”

ISP will request funding more troopers for capitol after increased threats

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho State Police will ask the Legislature to provide funding for additional police to protect the Capitol complex and state-owned buildings. The additional request for fiscal year 2023, costing roughly $2.6 million, comes from ISP to pay for 12 full-time permanent positions in the capitol protective services unit. TheContinue reading “ISP will request funding more troopers for capitol after increased threats”

Idaho’s final redistricting maps approved 

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports In a short meeting Friday, the Idaho redistricting commission approved legislative plan L03 and congressional plan C03 to become the state’s electoral districts for the next 10 years. The bipartisan six-member commission began their work on Sept. 1 and approved the final maps three weeks ahead of the Nov. 30Continue reading “Idaho’s final redistricting maps approved “

Draft bill would dramatically redirect online sales tax

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports Property taxes are a perennial discussion at the Idaho statehouse, and this year is no exception. An interim legislative committee drew headlines last week for a proposal to phase out supplemental levies, which voters pass to raise their property taxes and fund local school districts. The proposal would not createContinue reading “Draft bill would dramatically redirect online sales tax”

Update: Ex-legislator’s criminal case moves forward after rape accusation

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Editor’s note: This story may be disturbing to some readers due to discussion of alleged sexual violence. Ada County Magistrate Judge Kira Dale on Friday heard evidence in the case of the former Idaho legislator accused of sexually assaulting a legislative intern. The judge moved his case forward to DistrictContinue reading “Update: Ex-legislator’s criminal case moves forward after rape accusation”

One person, one vote, forty-four counties

by Logan Finney, Idaho Reports As Idaho communities have grown unevenly over the past decade, how should the interests of urban and rural areas best be represented? That’s one of several issues before Idaho’s redistricting commission as they decide how to lay out 35 legislative districts across the 44 counties. The bipartisan six-member commission spentContinue reading “One person, one vote, forty-four counties”