During the 2022 Regular Legislative Session, Representative Ron Nate tried numerous times to bring a bill to the floor of the Idaho House of Representatives for consideration that would have repealed the tax on food. This is the very thing Governor Little promised during his campaign in 2018.
Time and time again, Representative Nate’s motion was denied. Representative Nate rallied to suspend gas tax, and again, his calls for tax breaks for Idahoans were silenced. Senator Christy Zito tried as well and was also unsuccessful.
The 2022 Legislative Session ended, and Idahoans were told the best they could get was a $20 rebate in two years and that is crumbs, compared to the incentives large corporations walked away with.
A few months later, Gov. Brad Little called a special session on a made-up emergency, according to bill sponsors and co-sponsors. Gov. Little had the bill written and ready to be heard.
The governor had a long list of legislators sponsoring and co-sponsoring the bill. Weird, because this is not his job. Proof Idaho no longer has three branches of government, it is ruled by a King. On a side note, remember when legislators tried to reconvene during Covid, and Gov. Little refused? I do.
The Unconstitutional Breakdown on HB1
As stated, and affirmed by legislators, HB1 was written by the Governor. Let it be clear, the Governor does NOT hold power, jurisdiction, or say in bill writing:
Idaho Constitution Article II Section 1.
DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT. The powers of the government of this state are divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive, and judicial; and no person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or permitted.Advertisement
Idaho Constitution Article III Section 14.
ORIGIN AND AMENDMENT OF BILLS. Bills may originate in either house, but may be amended or rejected in the other, except that bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives.
The Governor held a secret meeting with hand-picked Senators and Representatives to ensure that he had enough votes for his bill to pass:
Idaho Constitution Article III Section 12.
SECRET SESSIONS PROHIBITED. The business of each house, and of the committee of the whole shall be transacted openly and not in secret session.
The Governor called a special session when there was no evidence of extraordinary necessity:
Idaho Constitution Article IV Section 9.
EXTRA SESSIONS OF LEGISLATURE. The governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the legislature by proclamation, stating the purposes for which he has convened it; but when so convened it shall have no power to legislate on any subjects other than those specified in the proclamation; but may provide for the expenses of the session and other matters incidental thereto. He may also, by proclamation, convene the senate in extraordinary session for the transaction of executive business.
There was no real emergency. Several legislators said this during their floor debate.
According to Idaho’s constitution the bill should have been read in its entirety for three consecutive days. The process also did not allow the 24-hour notice for citizens to testify. Many citizens were ready to give testimony:
Idaho Constitution Article III Section 15.
MANNER OF PASSING BILLS. No law shall be passed except by bill, nor shall any bill be put upon its final passage until the same, with the amendments thereto, shall have been printed for the use of the members; nor shall any bill become a law unless the same shall have been read on three several days in each house previous to the final vote thereon: provided, in case of urgency, two-thirds of the house where such bill may be pending may, upon a vote of the yeas and nays, dispense with this provision. On the final passage of all bills, they shall be read at length, section by section, and the vote shall be by yeas and nays upon each bill separately and shall be entered upon the journal; and no bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of the members present.
HB1 consisted of four different subjects: repealing law, a tax rebate, adjusting tax brackets, and designating funds to be appropriated for education:
Idaho Constitution Article III Section 16.
UNITY OF SUBJECT AND TITLE. Every act shall embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith, which subject shall be expressed in the title; but if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be embraced in the title.
HB1 was not clearly laid out and consisted of technical terms, unconstitutionally written:
Idaho Constitution Article III Section 17.
TECHNICAL TERMS TO BE AVOIDED. Every act or joint resolution shall be plainly worded, avoiding as far as practicable the use of technical terms.
Each Senator and Representative that voted for HB1, did so in violation of their oath of office.
Idaho Constitution Article III Section 25.
OATH OF OFFICE. The members of the legislature shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take or subscribe the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator (or representative, as the case may be) according to the best of my ability.” And such oath may be administered by the governor, secretary of state, or judge of the Supreme Court, or presiding officer of either house.
THESE MEN AND WOMEN have been elected to be your voice, but whose voice are they, really? It’s no secret who they appear to work for. IACI (Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry) was thrilled to have this bill shoved through with zero amendments allowed. Democrats and Teachers Unions were thrilled to get even more millions of dollars handed over to their overflowing coffers.
Let’s not forget those millions were designated to be appropriated to “Education” to satisfy the far-left democrat group Reclaim Idaho, whose goal it is to destroy the republic and turn Idaho as blue as California.
Does your $300 rebate hold a candle to the millions handed over to a failing education system? Does your $300 compare at all to the tax incentives given to large corporations by those elected to protect your interests?
Are these Idaho legislators really protecting your interests? Remember, during the 2022 Regular Legislative Session we could have had food tax repeal (which Governor Little promised) and gas tax suspension, which would have equated to more than $300 in YOUR pocket.
There is a solution:
Remember what has happened during both 2022 Legislative Sessions when you go to the poll in November to cast your vote. Consider if your current legislator really has your best interests at heart? Are they serving the people, or special interest groups?
Will your choice for legislator stand up to IACI and Meta, the massive global company that was given our water?
Will your choice for legislator stand up against the federal government, since many of these same individuals voted to hand over Idaho’s land?
As a Republican I am appalled that candidates who promise to uphold the Republican Party Platform, and do not do so, are not ousted by the IDGOP. This behavior is no different than Liz Chaney’s behavior when she was kicked out of the GOP.
It’s this sort of voting record and behavior that is turning Idaho into California.
As someone who swore an oath to the Constitution, I cannot stand by and be silent. Now that you know, what do you plan on doing about it?
This Op-Ed was submitted by Rosa Martinez. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.
Tags: Brad Little, Education, Grocery Tax, H1, Idaho Legislature, Reclaim Idaho, Rosa Martinez, Special Session