This has been the craziest week yet. I know I say that every week, however this week was the most difficult week yet. Monday came with so much legislation there is no way for one person to keep up with all of it. I’ll do my best to cover a few pieces from each day. Remember, you can follow legislation on the following site fairly quickly and it’s easy: 2023 Idaho Session
Also, this week we were able to honor our legislators and pastors with a Connection Event on Thursday in the Lincoln Auditorium. IT WAS AMAZING! I can’t thank all of the legislators, pastors, and volunteers enough for ALL of the endless hours they serve this community. Idaho is BLESSED! We have been asked to try to host another one of these Connection events the end of March more towards the evening, prior to the session ending. We will keep you posted on whether or not that is something that we can schedule. Mark your calendars for the next AWARE Conference hosted by Calvary Chapel Mountain Heights and Pastor Marty and Emily Yost on April 2nd from 1-5 pm at Sawtooth Middle School in Meridian. The first event was INCREDIBLE!
And, I wouldn’t be doing you any favors if I didn’t mention the Proposed Rules process. It is a long and tedious one that most people don’t even know about. Unfortunately, the rules become policy once they are accepted by the legislature and then that policy is law. This my friends is how Common Core was brought into Idaho. The Rules process is just as important as the legislative process, in my opinion AND it is much more dangerous because not very many people are paying attention. At the end of this update, I will spend more time discussing some of the Education Rules and why I have spent 6 weeks studying them and sounding the alarm on why I felt some of them were so dangerous if passed. Sadly, our Senate Education Committee passed them all this week, with the exception of one line. The line item the Senate Education Committee rejected had to do with moving the Western Governors University into an Idaho postsecondary institution exemption list. There has been concern that the university was being moved so they qualified for the Launch money as an Idaho institution even though they are physically located in Utah. Because this rule does not include a fee, the House Education Committee MUST reject it as well or it will pass and become policy, therefore law anyway. And, because the Senate Education Committee accepted ALL the other rules in the entire education binder, they all become policy and therefore law. Done! Not one Conservative member voted against any of the liberal gender neutrality or equitable selection process, not to mention the other questionable issues in the proposed education rules. Unfortunately, this binder of proposed rules is so extensive and our legislators are thrown into so much new territory with little time to get their bearings they are overwhelmed and rushed to make very critical decisions for our children.
The following is a video Representative Heather Scott and Representative Kerby put together a few years ago because they knew how important these rules are and had been trying to notify the public. Rep. Scott & Rep. Kerby Rules Information Video
Monday bagan full speed ahead. H64 would amend Section 39-3316, Idaho Code, to provide for in-person visitation rights. It’s meant to amend existing law to provide that a residential care or assisted living facility resident shall be entitled to in-person visitation subject to certain precautions. Representative Young presented in House Health and Welfare, it received a do pass, and then was passed on the house floor with a vote of 64-5-1. This bill has been referred to Senate State Affairs.
S1094 amends existing law to provide for temporary registration of experienced international medical graduates who are in the United States as asylees, humanitarian parolees, or refugees and to require that registrants agree to practice in a health professional shortage area. This legislation would extend a temporary license and registration, usually applied to U.S. Medical School graduates for residency training in Idaho, to experienced International Medical Graduates who are forcibly displaced persons to address the severe doctor shortage while simultaneously putting experienced physicians to work. Senator Wintrow presented in Senate Health and Welfare, it received a do pass, and is still on the Senate reading calendar waiting for a vote.
S1106 is legislation that amends Idaho Code to add section 16-1648 that provides for the notification of parents or guardians of their legal rights with respect to child protection investigations. The notification requirement is placed upon the Department of Health and Welfare (department) within 72 hours of the first contact the department has with the parents, guardians or other persons with legal custody of the child. Senator Herndon presented in Senate Judiciary and Rules and it appears it is still waiting there.
S1033 In section 67-6537, Idaho’s legislature established the policy that encourages the continued use of surface water when there is a land use change under the land use planning act. Notwithstanding this statute, a recent court decision held that the Director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources exceeded his authority by relying on this policy for purposes of conditioning new groundwater applications. This bill would provide clear authority to the Director to condition new irrigation groundwater rights consistent with this policy. Senator Harris presented in Senate Resources and Environment, received a do pass recommendation, and it is waiting on the Senate reading calendar for a vote.
S1048 is a bill that creates an exemption from post-election audits for precincts that have a close race that is within the legal margin for a free recount. Following the completion of the first post-election audits, a conflict arose where ballots were being handled as part of the audit even though it was already known that these same ballots were needed to be preserved for a contested recount. This legislation addresses the conflict and ensures that full number of ballots are audited to ensure voter confidence. It is sponsored by Secretary of State Phil McGrane, received a do pass, and is waiting on the third reading calendar for a vote.
S1078 is legislation that requires the Secretary of State’s Office to prepare a comprehensive voters’ guide for primary and general elections, to be distributed to every household in Idaho. Currently, the Secretary of State’s Office produces and distributes a voters’ pamphlet when a ballot contains a constitutional amendment pursuant to Idaho Code Section 67-453, or an initiative or referendum measure pursuant to Idaho Code Section 34-1812C. This legislation expands this resource by also including information about candidates for federal and state offices, as well as other election information, including voter registration and voting requirements, important dates, and county clerk contact information. There will be a $750,000 impact to the General Fund for the design, production, and dissemination of the voters’ guide. Due to the alignment of the State’s fiscal year and the primary and general election dates, this amount would cover the cost of each of these elections in alternative years. Primary elections would be covered in even-numbered fiscal years, and general elections would be covered in odd-numbered fiscal years. Phil McGrane, Secretary of State presented this legislation, it received a do pass, and is waiting on the Senate’s third reading calendar.
H11 amends 34-218 to prohibit the State of Idaho from the use of private monies to administer an election. Previously, the prohibition only applied to local governing bodies. Phil McGrane, Secretary of State is sponsoring this legislation. It passed the House with a vote of 67-0-3, received a do pass recommendation in the Senate committee, and is waiting for a vote on the Senate floor.
H155 On April 7, 2021, Governor Little issued executive order 2021-04 which essentially prohibited the state of Idaho from requiring proof of vaccination to receive or access state services and facilities. This legislation codifies and expands the Governor’s executive order and provides that individuals will not be required to provide proof of vaccination or negative test results in order to: apply or receive services provided by the state; enter a government venue; or be hired or maintain employment with the state with some exceptions. H155 is sponsored by Representative Jason Monks. It received a vote of 49-21-0 on the House floor and has been sent to Senate State Affairs.
H116 is an update to 48-603G, Idaho Code, which went into effect July 1, 2022. The law ensures that consumers can easily cancel online subscriptions that would otherwise be automatically renewed. The law was not originally intended to capture companies regulated by the Public Utilities Commission or Federal Communications Commission. So this update clarifies that those companies are exempt from the law. This bill also clarifies how companies must offer citizens the ability cancel a subscription. It is sponsored by Representative Charlie Shepherd and Senator Julie VanOrden. It passed the House with a vote of 68-0-2 and was referred to Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee.
H52 is one of a series of bills the Supreme Court has recommended in its annual report to the Governor concerning defects or omissions in the laws, as required by article V, section 25 of the Idaho Constitution. Grand jury proceedings are confidential, and I.C. § 19-1111 recognizes this by specifically identifying jurors, prosecutors, witnesses, and interpreters as the only persons who may be present during the proceedings. Since a record of the proceedings must be kept, this statute should also permit a person designated to report the proceeding to be present. Similarly, I.C. § 19-3023 provides that child witnesses may be accompanied by a support person when testifying in a criminal matter. Grand jury proceedings are criminal matters, and as a result, support persons for child witnesses should also be permitted to be present during such proceedings. In recognition of the need to record grand jury proceedings, and in light of I.C. § 19-3023’s direction to permit child witnesses to be accompanied by a support person, persons designated to report the proceeding and support persons for child witnesses should be added to I.C. § 19-1111’s listing of persons who may be present at grand jury sessions. Representative Wroten carried the bill and it passed the house with a vote of 69-0-1. It has been referred to Senate Judiciary and Rules.
S1029 is legislation that amends and adds to existing law to prohibit a child protection investigation based on a child’s immunization status and to provide that a court shall not grant an order terminating a parent and child relationship based on a child’s immunization status. It was sponsored by Senator Brian Lenney and Representative Heather Scott. It passed the Senate with a 31-3-1 vote and passed the House with a 64-5-1 vote. It was signed by the President of the Senate on the 22nd, signed by the Speaker of the House on the 23rd, and sent to the Governor on the 24th.
H124 – No Student ID used at the Polls This bill would amend existing law to revise provisions regarding accepted voter identification at the polls. It removes student ID cards from section 34-1113 as an acceptable form of personal identification to vote at the polls. There is a lack of uniformity in the sophistication of student ID cards. Statewide, only 104 voters who voted at the 2022 General Election used a student ID card to vote. It passed the House 59-11-0 and had a hearing Senate State Affairs on Friday where it received a do pass vote of 7-2. Listening to kids from the Inclusivity class from the local high school testifying in this hearing about needing everything given to them was shocking. They were very offended that they may be responsible for anything. However, it was even more jaw-dropping to hear adults upset that we might require 18 year olds (adults) to actually go someplace and pay $10 to get an ID card to vote. They were offended that we wouldn’t make a $10 ID card free. FYI- someone is paying the $10 , NOTHING IS FREE. Then they wanted the state to bring the free ID card process to the young adults. They believe it is awful to require them to need to go to anywhere to get an ID card made. There was not one mention of ever expecting these young adults to take any responsibility for themselves, with the exception of my testimony. Needless to say, I don’t this holding young adults responsible is very favorable these days. Apparently, holding them accountable or responsible would be infringing on their Constitutional rights. 🤔
And by the way, only 104 student ID cards were used in the last Idaho election, so why should we worry? Do you realize those student ID cards are printed from a desk printer WITHOUT checking the student’s residency? 104 VOTES MATTER AND I’D LIKE TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE RESIDENTS BEFORE VOTING.
HCR 2 – Support of the Electoral College States findings of the Legislature and expresses support of the Electoral College system. It was adopted by a voice vote in the House and sent to Senate State Affairs.
H83 – Healthcare Worker Shortage amends existing law to revise eligibility requirements for the Conrad J-1 Visa Waiver Program and the National Interest Waiver Program. The vote on the House floor was 69-1-0. This is an interesting bill that you might want to read a few times to see why one very great legislator voted against it. I’m wondering if we missed something important. It looks like it’s headed to Senate Health & Welfare.
That was just a little bit on what happened on Monday, but let’s look at the rest of the week.
RS30230 / H139 The Children’s School and Library Protection Act requires public schools and community libraries to take reasonable steps to restrict children’s access to material that is obscene or harmful to minors. Any minor child who accesses such material in violation of this policy would be entitled to bring a civil action against the school or library. People have really worried that this legislation wouldn’t be heard, but that simply isn’t true. H139 will be heard Wednesday, March 1st in the House Education Committee at 9 am. The Agenda and Committee members contact information can be found at the following site: House Education Committee
H0163 -Parental Rights This legislation would update Title 33 Chapter 60 in Idaho code regarding parental rights. It reinforces the fundamental rights and responsibilities of parents or legal guardians as primary stakeholders to make decisions regarding the upbringing of their child. This legislation encourages transparent communication between parents and our schools. We received a hearing on this bill Wednesday in House Education and it was given a do pass recommendation with a unanimous vote. There should be a vote on the House floor Monday, February 27th.
S1038 If enacted, this bill, known as the “Freedom in Education Savings Accounts (FIE),” would create savings accounts for Idaho families on K-12 age children. The act would allow dollars to follow students so parents could access the education services and environments that work best for their children. Eighty percent (80%) of the “most current available statewide average general maintenance and operations fund expenditures per full term average daily attendance as calculated by the department” or approximately $5,950.00 will be available to eligible students, based on 2020-2021 State Department of Education financial summaries. A student participating in the program must be a resident of Idaho who is eligible to enroll in a public school for any grades K-12. Parents will be able to access and spend these funds on behalf of their child for approved educational expenses through an online platform. A “Parent Review Commission” is established to provide recommendations to the department about how to implement, administer and improve the program. The program will come into effect on and after July 1, 2023. The Freedom in Education Savings Accounts program requests $45 million from the state general fund for the first year of the program will use $40 million of these funds to establish savings accounts for qualified students. This amount would cover approximately 6600 students. The FIE Savings Accounts program will use up to $3 million to cover the costs of administering the program and up to $2 million for the digital platform. S1038 passed the Senate Education Committee and it is believed it will receive a third reading and vote Tuesday on the Senate floor.
S1042 Charter schools are public schools supported by taxpayer dollars. To help qualifying, well-established charter schools obtain lower interest rates on bonds, the legislature created a financing tool known as a credit enhancement. This tool has proven exceptionally effective, saving the state and public charter schools millions in interest payments, and ensuring more taxpayer dollars stay in Idaho’s classrooms. However, the tool has reached its initial statutory cap. This bill would amend the existing statute to raise the cap on the overall capacity of the tool, so that more qualifying schools may apply to participate. Additionally, it would allow schools that serve 100% at-risk students to apply to use the tool even if they do not meet the academic performance criteria required of other schools, as long as they meet all other eligibility criteria. S1042a – Amended Senator Den Hartog moved to amend and Senator Winder seconded the motion. This is how legislation gets sent to the 14th Order of Amending. It is now waiting for a vote on the Senate floor.
S1071 – No Sex Ed Under 5th Grade This legislation would amend existing law to prohibit instruction on human sexuality, sexual orientation, or gender identity prior to fifth grade. It passed the Senate Education Committee and is on the third reading calendar on the Senate floor.
S1100 – Protecting the Privacy and Safety of Students in Public Schools The statement of purpose for this bill states that, “The legislation ensures that public schools maintain separate bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, dressing areas, and overnight accommodations for biological boys and biological girls. Additionally, the school would need to provide reasonable accommodations for any student who is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy facility designated for his or her sex. Express exemptions are provided for certain situations, including when a person of the other biological sex needs to enter the facility to provide medical assistance, clean the facility, or in cases of ongoing safety emergency or natural disaster.” It passed the Senate Education Committee Thursday and is headed to the Senate floor.
SJR102 – Resolution to Repeal Article IX Section 5 The purpose of this joint resolution is to repeal Article IX Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Idaho (aka The Blaine Amendment). It looks like this is moving very slow, maybe not at all on the Senate side and we may see it show up somewhere else.
H58 – School Bond and Levy Elections, Eliminating the March & August Election Dates This original legislation would amend existing law to remove school bond and levy election dates in August and March. It passed the House floor with a 43-26-1 vote in its original form. It then passed Senate State Affairs after being amended with a 5-4 do pass recommendation. It was a bit disappointing that the legislation was amended in Senate State Affairs. Senator Ben Toews motioned to pass the legislation in its original form but no other Senator would second his motion. Their amendment was to leave the March date and remove August. The amended bill will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.
Index of Current Proposed Rules According to this website, “The following is a numerical list of the proposed rules that are currently being promulgated. Changes are published in the monthly Idaho Administrative Bulletin. Public comment and requests for hearings are solicited on all proposed rule changes. A proposed rule is not effective or enforceable until it completes the comment and review process, is adopted by the agency as a pending rule, and is submitted for legislative review and approval.”
The following are examples of some of the “Red Tape Reduction Act” aka baby steps to gender neutrality or let’s erase biological sex:
The participant must meet one (1) of the following criteria related to the severity of
his their …
Has actually made an attempt to take
his their own life in the last …
…or other symptoms
which that indicate they is are a probable …
The participant has such limited functioning that
his their physical safety and well being are in jeopardy due to his their inability…
…or treatment decision while the participant is in
his their current …
And in Docket 08-0113-2201 of the proposed rules for education on Page 18 101. 04. b.
his or her is replaced with a and Page 18 300. 01. a. his is replaced with an.
It is true, it’s simply baby steps but they are steps in the wrong direction and this is just one VERY TINY piece of what we should be concerned with in all of these rules.
Docket 08-0204-2201 is one of the most concerning to me in the proposed education rule changes. Page 61 Descriptive Summary gives us a glimpse into the “equitable selection process” that will be covered quite a lot in this docket. Page 65 202. 02. d. students are “identified” with disabilities. I questioned who identifies them and then once a student is identified, can they be unidentified? Don’t they like to “identify” genders as well? Page 67 203. Admission procedures for charter schools has many changes. Page 67 203. 01. Idaho Public Charter School Commission. The Idaho public charter school commission shall adopt policies and procedures establishing a framework for the equitable selection process and make available to all public charter schools a model procedure. Petitioners are required to adopt admission procedures that align with the Commission approved model procedures. Page 67 203. (old 01.) new 02. “Admission Procedures” and “Equitable Selection Process” are switched and there are many more changes. Page 67 203. Old 02. through old 09. is changed and 02.; 05. b.; 06.; 07.; 08.; the word equitable is used 11 total times. As I have discussed in previous weekly updates, equity DOES NOT mean equal no matter how many times the rules presenter tells the committees that is does.
Other issues in this docket included Page 68 203. 04. gender; Page 68. 203. 05. “or other person with legal authority to make decisions” regarding…; Sections 205. -501. pertaining to a Request to Form a new Charter School: It seems as if they are making appeals much more difficult. If it were me, I would want someone that understands the Charter School process to look at this more closely. On page 74-75 there seems to be a lot of “Board” control and page 74 402. 01. G AND page 75 403. 01. e. they state “No new evidence will be considered on appeal to the Board”. I wonder if they are working to eliminate some charter schools or make it more difficult for new charter schools to be established. Maybe neither but it seems interesting to me.
What’s Happening in Week 8?
- Please remember to pray for our legislators and their families. Pray for their wisdom, health, protection, and clear decisions.
- Seek the TRUTH! Please don’t believe all that you hear. It is important to seek the truth. Ask questions from the person you are concerned with or that you have questions about. Communication is difficult and social media can make things cloudy. It’s always best to go straight to the source.
- 2023 Idaho State Legislators
- In House Education on Monday the following will be heard: RS 30286 Home School Definition presented by Rep. Yamamoto, RS 30456 Community College Accreditation presented by Rep. McCann, RS 30474 School and Public Library Materials presented by Rep. Nelsen, RS 30489 Abstinence Definition presented by Rep. Ehardt and RS 30249 Campus Free Speech presented by Rep. Ehardt
- It sounds like School Choice legislation will also be heard in House Education this week as well as H139 being heard on Wednesday.
- Monday in House State Affairs H189 legislation which adds to existing law to prohibit public contracts with companies that boycott certain business sectors will be presented by State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth. She will also be presenting H190 which amends existing law to require that credit unions and banks holding state funds not boycott certain industries. Representative Monks will be presenting H191 which would amend and add to existing law to provide that procurement decisions shall not be based on environmental, social, and governance standards. And in the same committee on Monday, Representative Barbieri will present H197 to amend, repeal, and add to existing law to revise provisions regarding the legislative review of administrative rules.
- S1009 – Clarify the Health Rights of Idahoans According to the Statement of Purpose, “This legislation creates a revised section to Chapter 90, Title 39, Idaho Code, relating to Health Rights. The revised section is to be known as Section 39-9004. This section establishes health rights under the law for medical patients, their family members, and legal guardians. This legislation will help ensure fairness of treatment, enhance patient awareness of medical treatment options, and install patient safeguards with respect to requirements for informed consent and the use of experimental drugs. This legislation will place necessary and expected restrictions on state and local government as to governmental authority with respect to the advertising of certain types of medicines or vaccines and the imposition of personal restrictions on Idahoans relating to widespread medical situations.” Senator Dan Foreman will be presenting in Senate Health & Welfare on Monday.
- H66 – Misdemeanor Criminal Penalty for person who reports allegations to CPS that they know to be false or reports allegations in bad faith or with malice. This is being heard in Senate Judiciary & Rules Monday. It adds to existing law to provide that reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect falsely or in bad faith is a misdemeanor. This bill passed the house with a vote of 56-12-2.
- Lincoln Days are here. Check out the Idaho GOP events website for more information. Canyon county Lincoln Day is March 4th. There are still a couple seats available at our table. If you would like to join us, let me know.
- Treasure Valley Republican Women will be hosting an evening with State Chair Dorothy Moon Tuesday, March 7th at 6 pm at Bob’s Restaurant in Nampa. It is a free event and all are welcome. Dinner options will be available for individual purchase. We would love to have you join us for an evening of getting to know one another better and just having fun. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any questions.