Idaho Dispatch

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Idaho’s Legislative Session Begins Today, Little to Give “State of the State” Address

By • January 11, 2021

With the nation focused on presidential politics, Idahoans will also be watching the state legislative session here in Idaho.

105 legislators from across the state will be convening at the state capitol today to begin discussing, debating, and passing various pieces of legislation.

Several Democrat lawmakers, Rep. Sue Chew (Boise) and Rep. Muffy Davis (Ketchum) have filed a lawsuit against Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke (Oakley). The Democrat lawmakers are suing Bedke over his refusal to impose a mask mandate and social distancing requirements inside the capitol.

To date, Bedke has said that while they will do everything they can to help Idahoans feel safe at the capitol, he will not force anyone to wear a mask.

In addition to the legislators beginning the legislative session, Governor Brad Little will be giving his “State of the State” address from the Lincoln Auditorium.

Typically the State of the State address is given in front of lawmakers but because Governor Little has Idaho in a modified Stage 2, he will give his speech televised with very few people in attendance.

Little’s address will take place at 1:00 p.m. MST and can be watched using the link from the Governor’s website here.

The legislative session officially begins at 12:00 p.m. MST and a lot of hot button topics are expected to be debated this year.

A number of legislators want to introduce legislation so that they can call themselves back into session. Currently, the only way the legislature can come back into session outside of their ordinary timeframe is if the governor decides to call them back into session.

Additionally, a number of other issues such as education spending, property taxes, the 2nd Amendment, and more will be discussed.

Idaho Dispatch has been told that leadership in the House and Senate want the session to be shorter than it normally is. Traditionally, the legislative session will run until approximately late March or early April.

Because of concerns among some lawmakers over the Coronavirus, those concerns may speed up the legislative session to an early end.

It should be noted that the Idaho State Patrol is requesting that individuals coming to the capitol wear a mask and social distance if possible while inside.

What type of legislation would you like to see passed this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: Brad Little, Coronavirus, Legislative Session, Muffy Davis, Scott Bedke, Sue Chew