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Will Legislature Usurp Republican Rules?

Doyle Beck, LD 32, contributor

The 2023 session of the Idaho Legislature is winding down, but there is still a lot of very important legislation still pending. Here is an update to give you a sense at what's left and what's at stake:

House Bill 71 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but it is being sent to the Senate floor for amendment. This is the legislation that would prohibit sex change procedures for minors. It's expected that opponents of the bill will try to allow exemptions to the law, e.g., letting children use puberty blockers but still banning surgeries. If you want to let lawmakers know this legislation should pass as is, now is a good time to let them know.

While a proposal for a universal education savings account for Idaho school students failed, a smaller proposal, participation limited to 2,000 students, passed the Senate and is waiting to be heard in the House. It's Senate Bill 1161. The Idaho Freedom Foundation gave the proposal light support in its Education Index, but the Idaho Education Association opposed it as it has all school choice proposals.

Senate Bill 1186 is a renewed attempt to move Idaho's presidential primary back to May, which of course will put the state at a disadvantage when it comes to our influence on the presidential nomination process. The Bonneville County Central Committee has urged Bonneville legislators to oppose this bill, as it contradicts the Republican Party Rules.

There is also a bill pending, Senate Bill 1185which would require candidates to file for office by the end of January. This is concerning because candidates for the Legislature would have to file before the Legislature has even voted on anything. How would you know if your legislator is doing a good job or not?

You might not expect this kind of a bill to be making its way through the Idaho Legislature but House Bill 313 would require schools to put feminine hygiene products in Idaho's public schools. The bill passed the House Education Committee and is about to be considered in the House. The Idaho Freedom Foundation's analysis is here. A group called the Idaho Period Project is behind the measure.

On the other hand, House Bill 314, a revised attempt to keep Idaho's public libraries from stocking obscene materials, is making its way to the House floor. Here's IFF's analysis.

Finally, Senate Joint Memorial 101 would have no force of law but it is controversial for how it asks Congress and the White House to fix America's broken immigration system. In doing so, the memorial says people who are here illegally should be allowed to stay. Critics call this amnesty, while supporters of the bill deny this. The Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry specifically issued a statement thanking legislators for passing the memorial, which will not be considered in the House

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