Major Legislation

2021 Legislature 

To find a bill below, hit ‘ctrl f’ and enter a key word.  For details on each bill, go to https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/.

Current bills to watch

To limit the length of time a governor may maintain a declaration of extreme peril without concurrence by the legislature, protect Idaho workers as essential, reaffirm the legislature’s authority to end emergency declarations and/or emergency regulations, protect right to peaceable assembly and free exercise of religion, protect Idahoans’ right to bear arms during emergencies, and prohibits governor from unilaterally altering or suspending Idaho Code. SB 1136a has passed the Senate, 27-7-1 and passed House, 54-16. HB135, also active, has passed the House 49-20-1 and the Senate 25-10. Gov. Little vetoed both bills. SB 1136a failed in the Senate. The House overrode the veto on HB 135 but the Senate did not. See four new bills that have passed: HBs 391, 392, and 393 and SB1217.

To require approval by 2/3rds of both houses of the legislature to rename, rededicate, or relocate any item on state property named for an historical person or event. HB 90 has replaced HB65 and has been approved by the House, 51-19. It died in Senate committee.

To prevent a taxing body from revealing whether or how much a new levy will affect the current tax rate. LAW. HB66 passed the House 46-24. It was amended by the Senate and passed unanimously, 35-0, and amendments accepted by the House.

To make trustees primarily responsible for deciding epidemic procedures for K-12 schools and community colleges. LAW HB67 passed the House 65-5 and the Senate 31-3-1; HB 68 passed the House 59-11 and the Senate 27-7-1.

To allow state agencies to hire their own lawyers at costs 3 to 8 times as much as taxpayers would pay through the Attorney General’s office. HB101 passed the House 54-15-1. Died in Senate committee.

To eliminate the August election date for school levies and bonds. HB106 passed the House 45-24-1, but was killed in the Senate. A House amendment added this to SB 1061, which failed as a result.

To allow school faculty and staff to carry firearms to school if they hold an advanced concealed weapons certificate. HB 122 gives the school board no say in the matter. It passed the House, 52-18. This bill and SB 1135 died in Senate committee.

To allow school boards to set teacher compensation without negotating with teachers. HB174 passed the House 45-25. This bill died in Senate committee.

To require school districts to provide in-person education even during emergencies in cases where “safety requirements can be developed.”LAW. HB 175 passed the House 55-14-1 and the Senate 35-0.

To take money from any school district that is not able to provide full-time in-person instruction by April 1 if any child’s parents wish to seek other educational opportunities. HB293 replaced HB247. It passed the House, 55-15 but died in Senate committee.

To allot $5 million for $500 education grants for students with unique educational needs and $5 million for grants over $6,000 for students from public schools who wish to switch to private ones. FAILED. HB294 (formerly HB215) has passed the House 47-22-1, but failed in the Senate 16-18-1. This bill would essentially pay parents $6,000 to deny their kids a formal education. There are no restrictions on size, hours, or curricula of private schools and some have only 2-4 students. Less than 0.01% of students will receive funds and those students will have preferred access in succeeding years. It appears $30 million in Federal funds is requested to initiate the program.

To detail how cities with populations over 100,000 are to switch to electing council members by geographic zones. HB 319 was amended to include provisions of SB 1111a that never made it out of Senate committee. It passed the House 41-21 on March 5 but was not considered by the Senate.

To lower income taxes by 0.125% for the lowest bracket and up to 0.425% for the highest. In addition,the first year each Idahoan would receive a one-time payment of $50 or 9% ofstate taxes paid in 2019, whichever is higher.  The ongoing tax saving has been estimated at $13 a year for a couple earning $25,000 and $10,000
a year for a couple earning $1 million.The bill is expected to cut revenue by
$390 million and impose withdrawal of a second $390 million in Federal COVID-19
aid. It may require cuts in spending for schools and government services and
could make improvements impossible for decades. HB 332 passed the
House, 58-12, on a straight party vote. This bill died in Senate committee.  See
HB 380. 

To prohibit state or local governments, including schools, from requiring face masks to slow the spread of diseases.  HB339 passed the House 47-22-1 but died in Senate committee. 

To fund the Catastrophic Health Care Program for the remainder of 2021. HB 345 provides $100 less than the Senate bill the House rejected earlier.  The House has passed tis bill 47-20-3 and the Senate 31-2-2.  The two nay votes were Bayer and Zito.   

To allow the Secretary of State to order post-election audits of paper ballots. Cost is estimated at $100,000 per election. HB349 passed the House 58-12.  but died in Senate committee.

To ensure uniform laws across the state on the taxation and sale of tobacco products. HB363 passed the House 61-7-2 but died in Senate committee.  

To accept Federal funds for child care providersHBs 369, 389, and 400 all passed both houses. 

To reduce income tax, particularly for the wealthy, by $162.9 million annually.  Taxable income over $5,000 is now taxed at the maximum rate.  A one-time sum of $220 million will go to send each taxpayer $50 or 9% of taxes he or she paid in 2019.  HB380 passed the House 57-12-1 and the Senate 27-8-0. 

To clarify that Emergency Rental Assistance payments made directly to households and used to pay rent or utilities is not taxable, but payments received by a landlord are. HB 390 passed the House 52-13-4 but failed in the Senate, 9-26-0.

To end the current restriction limiting gatherings to 50 persons. HCR 5 passed the House, 55-15, but died in Senate committee.  

To create a legislative interim committee to study and make recommendations regarding the expenditure of certain federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  This committee duplicates interim work of JFAC but HCR 19 passed both houses.  

To amend the Idaho Constitution so that legislative leaders must convene a special session within 15 days after receiving a written request from 60% of the members of each house. SJR 102 passed the Senate by24-11 and the House by 54-15-1. A Constitutional amendment, it need not be signed by the Governor but approved by a majority of the voters.

*To add $4 million to the legislature’s Legal Defense Fund. LAW. SB1022 passed the Senate, 27-7-1, and the House, 57-11-2.

To reimburse persons who were wrongfully imprisoned. LAW. S1027 passed the Senate and the House with unanimous votes.

To authorize a Work Readiness Diploma for those who have completed technical programs.  LAW. SB1039a passed the Senate 32-0-3 and the House, 67-0-3.

To fund dual-credit courses for students in private schools. LAW. SB1045 passed the Senate 28-6 and the House 66-1-3.

To allow an alternate curriculum within a public school if parents of 24 students request it.  LAW. S1046a passed the House 26-7-2  and the House 47-19-3.  

To require county approval of health districts orders within 7 days and every 30 days thereafter. LAW. SB1060 passed the Senate 32-1-2 and the House 66-2-2.

To change the dates for getting items on the ballot. SB 1061 was amended in the House to eliminate the August election for school district bonds and levies. The Senate failed to agree with the change.

To ‘provide’ for a four-week summer session prior to kindergarten for students not yet ready. No funding is provided. SB1075 passed the Senate 32-1-2 and the House  39-25-5. 

To fund the Catastrophic Health Fund for the remainder of this fiscal year. SB 1081 passed the Senate 30-4-1. It failed 33-35-2 in the House. See bill HB 345.

To raise the legal age for possession of tobacco or electronic smoking devices to 21. SB 1087 passed the Senate 25-10-0, but was defeated in the House 28-40-2.

To require that rental fees be included in the lease agreement or other documents. SB 1088 passed the Senate 26-8-1, but was defeated in the House 28-40-2.

To set penalties for rape of juveniles and to remove the exemption for husbands. LAW. SB 1089 passed the Senate 34-0-1 and the House 70=0. Sponsors include Democrats Melissa Wintrow and Colin Nash and Republican Linda Hartgen.

To limit the amount of property tax that local government entities may assess. SB1108a was defeated in the Senate, 17-18.

To create the Idaho Promise mentor program to help students achieve training goals after graduation. Proposed by Grant Burgoyne and Janie Ward-Engelking. SB1109 failed the Senate with a 17-17-1 vote and a nay vote from the Lt. Gov.

To require petitions to place an initiative on the ballot to include signatures from 6% of the voters in all 35 legislative districts. LAW.B1110 passed the Senate 26-9-0 and the House by 51-18-1. Gov. Little has signed it.

To make a driving authorization card available to non-citizen who’ve been trained and tested. SB1132 died in committee.

To allow government agencies to provide broadband services within their boundaries. SB1149 died in Senate committee. 

To require that initiative signatures be signed in the state of Idaho so signatures of out-of-state military personnel and students will not be counted. SB 1150 passed the Senate 28-6-1. It was amended in the House so missionaries and military personnel may still sign.  It passed the House 35-25-9. 

To fund the Department of Health and Welfare. SB1163 passed the Senate 24-9-2, but failed the House 27-42-1.

To forbid use of private money to administer elections. LAW. SB1168 passed the Senate 28-7 and the House 24-3-3

To fund the attorney general’s office. LAW.  SB1206 has passed both the Senate and the House and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

To accept $40 million in Federal funding to pay for voluntary coronavirus testing at secondary schools. SB 1210 passed the Senate 26-3- 6 but failed in the House 28-41-1.  

To end the Governor’s public health order which, among other things, limits the size of gatherings and mandates masks at assisted living facilities. SCR 103 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee. HCR2 to lift restrictions on meetings of over 10 has passed the House, 55-15. Both bills died in Senate committee.  

To insert Idaho’s current drug laws into the Idaho Constitution so they can’t be changed by initiative.  A Constitutional amendment requires support by a 2/3 majority in both houses and a simple majority of voters. SJR 101 passed the Senate, 24-11. but did not get the necessary 2/3rds vote in the House.

To allow the legislature to call itself into session. SJR 102 has passed the Senate and the House. As an amendment to the Constitution, it requires approval by a majority of the voters rather than the Governor.

To impeach Governor Little.  House State Affairs Chair Ron Crane blocked printing. 

Other bills introduced by Democrats

To prohibit the legislature from amending requirements for initiatives without voter approval. A Constitutional amendment requires support by a 2/3 majority in both houses and a simple majority of voters. Proposed by Colin Nash. HJR2 is in the Ways and Means Committee.

To ban mental health professionals from using of ‘conversion therapy’ to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of any teen . Proposed by John McCrostie. HB52 is now in the Ways and Means Committee.

To increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by July 1, 2023. Proposed by Grant Burgoyne. SB1028 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee.

To add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Proposed by Melissa Wintrow and 11 co-signers. SB1030 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee.

To provide for student loan forgiveness for rural teachers. SB1117 failed in the Senate Education committee. This was a Democratic bill sponsored by Janie Ward-Engelking and Sally Toone.