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Helping to Battle the Coronavirus
Your House Republican Caucus is working to make sure Idaho is ready to battle the coronavirus. Thursday, we passed Senate Bill 1400 with a unanimous vote. The legislation approves a request from Governor Brad Little for $2 million to go into an emergency fund for testing around the state and other countermeasures. While no one in the state has tested positive, yet, we need to be ready if/when that happens.
Ensuring Responsible Budgets

Idaho House Republican Caucus members voted for resets and reviews of a few more state budgets this week. On Monday, the state’s proposed higher education budget for fiscal year 2021 failed to pass the House of Representatives. Just minutes later, the House also voted down the proposed budget for the Office of the Secretary of State. Wednesday, the House voted down the budget for the Attorney General. 

“First and foremost, we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars,” said Assistant Majority Leader Jason Monks. “This is a part of the process. We will absolutely set a budget for the Attorney General and the Secretary of State and help fund our state’s colleges and universities. However, that funding will be more fiscally conservative that what we were presented today.”

The Joint Finance-Appropriation Committee has just re-written new appropriations to the A.G., the Secretary of State, the Treasurer, and the State Board of Education and the Board of Regents of the University of Idaho for College and Universities and the Office of the State Board of Education. We look forward to examining them to make sure they work for Idaho.

Member Legislation

Fairness in Women’s Sports

House legislation ensuring opportunities for girls and women in athletics is one step closer to becoming law. On Monday, House Bill 500a advanced out of Senate Committee to the 14th order for amendments. The bill keeps biological boys and men from competing on girls’ or women’s teams. The amendments were printed on Tuesday. Those amendments clear up some of the bill’s language, specifically, how biological sex is verified.

“To make sure that we, in no way, make people think that somehow there is going to be invasive pelvic exams, that was not the case,” said the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ehardt.

Ehardt says while she hears criticism, this legislation is only about fairness in women’s sports.

Sensible Public Records Requests

Your House Republican Caucus is working to save time and money on public records requests. House Bill 601 passed the Idaho House of Representatives on Tuesday. The legislation, sponsored by House Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma, would make public records requests more manageable for a beleaguered state staff. The exemptions in the bill cover the identity of those with whom we communicate when writing legislation, so constituents don’t have to make their problems public just to ask us a question.

“These changes and updates allow us to limit some of the costs, while still providing openness and transparency to the public,” said Representative Blanksma.

Public records requests regarding lawmakers have been growing in number and scope, and complying with that is costly. The Legislative Services Office says there were just 90 public records requests in 2015, but 658 last year.

License Plates Get Extended Life
House Bill 410 is now law after being signed by Governor Brad Little on Tuesday. The law, which was sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Jason Monks, will extend the time a license plate is valid from seven to ten years. This gives car owners a slight reprieve from having to replace their plates more frequently, regardless of their condition.
Affirming Support of Our Governor
Thanks to the support of the House Republican Caucus, the Idaho House of Representatives passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 135 Wednesday, by a vote of 55-8-7. SCR135 is co-sponsored by Representative Mike Kingsley. It supports Governor Brad Little and the Idaho Department of Correction in their opposition to our State providing gender reassignment surgery for convicted sexual abuser, Adree Edmo. Governor Little has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court the decision by the 9th Circuit Court for the state prison system to provide the surgery. The Resolution has already passed the Senate.
Keep Updated
You can learn more about all the legislation being debated by our Caucus members. Just check the House Reading Calendar found at the link below.