Idaho Special Session Ends. What Happened?By Greg Pruett • August 27, 2020
The third and final day of the Idaho extraordinary (special) session ended yesterday.
A total of three bills passed and a resolution was passed in each chamber of the Idaho legislature. There was also a concurrent resolution and several bills that did not pass.
You can review all of the bills and resolutions that passed and did not pass on the Idaho legislative website here.
We want to break down everything that happened legislatively for you.
The House passed two bills that were also passed by the Senate: House Bills 1 and 6.
HB 1 changes Idaho code to ensure that “in-person” voting will take place, even under a state of emergency. A number of legislators expressed concern about the November election being only mail-in voting because of the state of emergency and this change to the law would ensure that does not happen.
HB 1 passed through the House on a 67-0 vote, a vote of 33-2 in the Senate, and the bill is headed to Governor Little for consideration.
HB 6 provides schools and businesses some limited protection from lawsuits stemming from the Coronavirus.
Several lawmakers said that school administrators and business owners are afraid to open and move forward for fear of lawsuits from someone claiming they got Coronavirus from their establishment.
Other lawmakers said the lawsuit was unnecessary and that the bill did not cover other people that needed to have protection such as teachers and healthcare workers.
HB 6 passed through the House on a 54-15 vote, a vote of 27-7 in the Senate, and that bill is also headed to Governor Little for consideration.
Senate Bill 1001 also passed through the Senate 33-0, the House 66-0, and is headed to Governor Little. The bill makes some changes to the absentee ballot process for the November election.
Gov. Little now has a choice of vetoing the bills, signing them, or letting them “ride” into law without any action on his part.
The House also passed House Resolution 1 which tells the governor that they want him to do whatever it takes to hold in-person voting. The resolution is non-binding and is essentially a formal letter from a legislative body on something they believe in or would like to see happen.
Resolutions do not move to the other chamber of the legislature or have any action taken on them by the governor.
The Senate passed a resolution as well, SJR 101, which asks Governor Little to end the “state of emergency.”
The Senate resolution was not House Concurrent Resolution 1 which would have ended the state of emergency instead of asking the governor to end it.
HCR 1 which passed the House was ultimately killed in the Senate.
House Bills 2-5 were other variations of “immunity” bills that were proposed.
All of those bills received stiff opposition from citizens and some lawmakers. That opposition ultimately led to House Bill 6 which was seen as a “balance” by some legislators and did not receive as much opposition from citizens as the other versions did.
In the end, the Idaho extraordinary session had no major changes to Idaho law.
A number of lawmakers did express their desire to make more changes during the 2021 legislative session which would allow the legislature to call themselves back into session without needing the governor’s approval. Idaho is one of only fourteen states where that capability does not exist.
Finally, Ammon Bundy was arrested again at the capitol for the second day in a row.
This time Bundy was arrested while sitting in the Senate gallery.
He was served with a paper at the time which had the support of Governor Little, Speaker Bedke, and Senate Pro-Tem Senator Hill which bans Bundy from the capitol for one year. The Idaho State Patrol gave Bundy the option to leave under his own power.
Bundy refused to speak or leave and was removed from the building for alleged trespassing.
Late last night a statement from Bundy was posted to the Facebook page “People’s Rights.”
That statement is lengthy and rather than post the entirety of his statement in the article, we are linking to the statement here.
What did you think of the Idaho extraordinary session overall?
Did you see things accomplished that you wanted or was the session a let down for you? Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Ammon Bundy, Coronavirus, Elections, Governor Little, HB 1, HB 6, Idaho Dispatch, Resolution
6 thoughts on “Idaho Special Session Ends. What Happened?”
Would have liked the state of emergency removed so the state can open up. Otherwise what is the end of all of this.
The Senate passed (chickened out) on ending this shutdown, by ONE objection. Looks like the FIX was in from the start! “Bad Chicken Little” got his way and the people of Idaho got the SHAFT !
The Idaho Senate has BETRAYED the freedom loving people of Idaho! We will not forget it come next election. Every single Senator needs to be removed from office. They should have passed the House resolution to END the State of Emergency declared by Brad Little. They have stated that they didn’t because it was ‘not legal’ to do so. That is open to debate, but at the least it would have caused the issue to go before the courts for a ruling. The current Senate membership are COWARDS!
In addition, the way the peaceful citizens and members of the press (credentialed or otherwise) were treated by the Senate officials and Idaho State Troopers, is UNACCEPTABLE, and can NOT be allowed to continue! We need change NOW not waiting until next session. VERY disappointing.
The actions of Idaho State police were shameful and illegal. The only agitators were ISP doing the bidding of Cheney and his violent disposition. Hill and Little hitler are a disgrace to Idaho and America!
I am glad that in person voting has been preserved. I would volunteer at the polls myself if I would not have to wear a mask for 12 hours.
A disappointment. Brad has been a disappointment and apparently so is our senate. Boise is becoming too liberal for the rest of the State.