During the 2020 Idaho “Extraordinary Session,” the Idaho Senate did not take up House Joint Resolution 1 which would have ended the emergency order.
At the time, the Senate said the move was unconstitutional and not part of why Governor Brad Little had called them back to the capitol. Instead, the Senate passed their own resolution asking for Little to end the order which he has not done until this day.
The Senate said at the time they had a number of issues they wanted to look at when the legislature convened this year.
Last week, Senator Chuck Winder (Republican – Dist. 20), the Senate’s new Pro-Tem, introduced four bills for consideration, and all four deal with the governor’s powers and emergency declarations.
One of Winder’s proposals he says would end the state of emergency but would still allow Idaho to collect and expend funds from the federal government. A topic of discussion among some legislators is the money that is coming in (CARES funds for example) and some legislators do not want to end the order if the money will no longer be available.
Winder said that his proposal would allow the federal money to continue coming in while ending the state of emergency.
Another of Winder’s proposals he testified in the Senate State Affairs Committee would prohibit the governor from restricting the right to worship and would prohibit the governor from restricting business owners from conducting business.
During the state of emergency, Little said that some businesses would be considered “essential” and some would be considered “non-essential.” Non-essential businesses were closed for a period of time.
Winder’s proposal would say that any business which contributes to the economy would be considered essential.
Senator Grant Burgoyne (Democrat – Dist. 16) said during the hearing last week that while all businesses contribute to the economy he believes there are some businesses that are not essential.
Winder and Sen. Kelly Anthon (Republican – Dist. 27) both said during the meeting that they wanted to see the emergency order ended but disagreed with House versions that simply ended the order.
Anthon said during the committee that the House Resolution passed in August would not have rescinded the mask mandates and other concerns citizens had. He said he supports Winder’s proposals and made a motion to have several of them “printed.”
Winder’s proposals are known as SB 1001, 1002, 1003, and SCR 101.
You can view the proposals by clicking the link here. The three bills and one resolution will have public hearings in the near future in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
What do you think of Winder’s proposals? Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Brad Little, Chuck Winder, Grant Burgoyne, Kelly Anthon, SB 1001, SB 1002, SB 1003, SCR 101