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Boise State Public Radio News is here to keep you current on the news surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Idaho Governor Outlines His Plan For COVID-19 Special Legislative Session

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Republican Governor Brad Little has announced his plan for a special session of the Idaho Legislature August 24.

 

Little chose just three proposals Wednesday from lawmakers for the session: mail-in ballots, consolidating polling centers and protecting businesses, schools and others from liability related to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The first would allow absentee ballots to be opened and scanned starting seven days before election day. However, those votes could not be counted until the polls close on November 3.

 

The second would allow counties to consolidate vote centers. County clerks in July asked lawmakers if they could shrink the number of polling spots because they expect hundreds of poll workers won’t show up, due to concerns over COVID-19. Under the proposal, counties would have to provide at least one center for every 15,000 registered voters and at least one center in each legislative district that falls in that county.

 

The third proposal would create a liability shield law for people or businesses who make good faith efforts to keep people safe during a declared coronavirus-related disaster or emergency. That includes Idaho stores, restaurants, bars, hotels, schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, daycares and churches, among others.

 

There is a clause in the third proposal that says the immunity from lawsuits does not apply to the People’s Republic of China or its agents.

 

In Little’s proclamation he said lawmakers will not be able to bring forward bills on any other subjects during the special session, which starts the morning of Monday, August 24 at the Idaho Statehouse.

 
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