You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

Abraham Lincoln

Calling the Legislature into Session

Last summer there was a lot of frustration because the Governor was making decisions and the Idaho Legislature could not call itself into session. The only way we could have a special session of the legislature was for the Governor to call for one. This is in the Constitution. We are inches away from a bill that will allow the legislature to call itself into session, under certain conditions.

 

  • First, 60-percent of the legislators would have to sign a petition to have a special session.
  • Certain issues would have to be agreed to by the elected leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Only those topics could be discussed.
  • This bill must pass the current legislature by a 2/3 majority, AND be voted on in the general election in 2022. If the voters of Idaho agree, we will have an alternative way to call the legislature to town.
Photo from August 2020 Special Legislative Session

What Happens if You Aren’t Looking

 

Every legislator comes to town with a bunch of ideas they think are great…only to find out there are often some major flaws in their thinking!! I battle this type of legislative overreach every session. We don’t need more laws. 

 

There was a great example of this type of silliness in Senate Education last week. In my opinion, Senate Bill 1046 completely sets aside the decisions of the elected members of local school boards, with what I would call mob rule (forgive me)! 

 

Here’s how it works. If a group of parents are dissatisfied with the school board’s decision making for what’s taught in the classroom, 24 people, who are willing to sign a petition, can force their own decisions into the classroom setting. This bill then requires the school board to adhere to the wishes of this unelected group of disgruntled folks. With this in place, the board must provide a teacher, classroom, transportation, insurance, etc., for that class. 

 

Added to the obvious impacts, the board is now on the financial hook for this new idea…now they have to fire existing teachers and end already planned classes, to make room for this one.

 

Worse, this can happen up to three months into the school year! 

 

While we all like, “out of the box thinking,” we still need to see the box from where we are standing! 
I find this type of legislation to be a hinderance to the real issues that affect all of Idaho. 

 

There is Still a TON of Work to Do

 

The legislature is working on, but does not yet have agreement on these major items:  

  • Tax Relief-property, income, and grocery
  • How to reduce the power of the Governor
  • Transportation funding

These things are not forgotten, but are more difficult to work through and even more difficult for finding agreement.