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.
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.
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.