Idaho Legislature

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Idaho’s Senate Tuesday will consider two bills about cannabis-based epilepsy treatments.

Clare Carey has been asking lawmakers to allow access to a certain kind of hemp oil for nearly two years. One of the two bills in the Senate is called Alexis’ Law after Carey’s daughter, who suffers from debilitating, life threatening epilepsy.

Christy Perry
Idaho Legislature

The Idaho House passed an anti-bullying measure Monday after some impassioned pleas from several lawmakers who talked about the experiences of their own children.

This is the latest of several attempts in recent years to pass bills aimed at strengthening Idaho’s anti-bullying laws. Some conservative lawmakers have been skeptical the issue can be regulated at the state level and worry they might be opening schools up to lawsuits.

The Idaho Senate has passed legislation banning women from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine — an option not available in the state — on a 27-7 party-line vote.

The Senate's seven Democrats opposed the bill Monday, arguing the proposal improperly regulated how doctors should administer care.

Republican Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll from Cottonwood countered that the bill protects women against so-called "webcam abortions," because rarely medical abortions result in surgery.

Donnie Ray Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

The owners of Les Bois Park in Garden City say they'll close the facility permanently if the Idaho Legislature bans instant racing. A bill to do away with the betting terminals – which critics say too closely resemble slot machines – is making its way through the Legislature.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House panel has endorsed expanding cuts to Idaho's personal property tax, a move that supporters say will help county officials attract companies while competing with other regions.

The House Revenue and Tax Committee approved the new measure Monday. 

According to the proposal, counties would no longer be restricted to giving tax breaks solely to manufacturing plants with $3 million worth of investments.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

On Monday, two Idaho Republicans will tiptoe into a public preschool debate the state's Legislature hasn't been willing to confront. Idaho is one of 10 states without public preschool.

Reps. Patrick McDonald, R-Boise, and Christy Perry, R-Nampa, are introducing a preschool pilot program they're calling "kindergarten preparedness."

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House committee has killed a Republican legislative leader's multi-faceted plan to tackle the state's growing transportation funding shortfall.

The House Transportation and Defense Committee voted 14-2 on Friday to block the proposal.

The bill would have raised $135 million by raising fuel taxes and registration rates, —roughly half of the state's $262 million annual transportation deficit.

Several hundred gambling devices in Idaho would become illegal under a bill now headed to the House floor.

A bill that would establish an expectation for Idaho schools to intervene when a kid is bullied is headed to the Idaho House floor.

BES Photo / Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho House committee Wednesday introduced a revised plan for increasing teacher pay.

But Rep. Ryan Kerby, R-New Plymouth, said the new version doesn’t fix a potentially divisive issue he said could backfire on the state.

Under the plan, experienced teachers who meet a high bar of performance criteria would be eligible for $4,000 bonuses called “master premiums.”

This story was updated at 5:30 p.m.

The latest revision of a bill to boost teacher pay in Idaho over the next five years showed promise of passing early Wednesday morning, but the legislation was killed just eight hours later.

The House Education Committee is now slated to vote on introducing a third amended version of the legislation Thursday.

The proposal presented Wednesday would have bumped beginning teacher pay from $31,750 to $32,700 a year. But Republican Rep. Ryan Kerby from New Plymouth balked at the way pay bonuses were structured.

Idaho lawmakers unhappy with the legalization of gay marriage in the state are calling on Congress to do something about “activist judges.”

Legislation requiring genetic counselors to be licensed in Idaho has cleared both chambers in the Statehouse.

The Idaho House approved the licensing bill 45-25 on Tuesday. The proposal is now headed to the governor's desk.

The legislation creates a licensing system by having a three-member oversight board, as well as licensing requirements for genetic counselors.

Daniel Foster / Flickr Creative Commons

An Idaho House panel has introduced a plan to collect nearly $3 million in sales tax from online sales.

Republican Rep. Lance Clow from Twin Falls says the plan would allow out-of-state companies to voluntarily collect sales tax on online purchases in Idaho.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee introduced the bill Tuesday 9-6, drawing opposition from Chairman Gary Collins and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle.

Currently, the federal government does not force out-of-state companies to collect state sales tax on online sales.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A bill backed by the NRA in the Idaho House turned out some unlikely opponents Monday: Idaho gun owners.

The NRA said it’s a modest bill, mainly aimed at making Idaho’s law on concealed weapons clearer. It would also remove an exception.

Right now Idaho law says elected officials don’t need permits to carry concealed weapons. This bill would say they do.

That is part of what gun rights advocates object to.

The Idaho House has approved a plan to let the ridesharing company Uber sidestep local city ordinances and operate the way it wants in Idaho.

The bill passed Monday 56-12 over opposition from most of the chamber's Democrats.

House Minority Leader Rep. John Rusche says that cities should be able to make their own rules, like they do for taxi drivers.

He also argued that the law's background check requirement for drivers isn't rigorous enough.

Idaho lawmakers are set to tackle some of the most contentious issues of the session at the capitol. Monday morning starts with a hearing on abortion.

tanakawho / Flickr

Idaho lawmakers are requesting the federal government to ensure that all genetically modified food labels are voluntary.

The Senate passed the non-binding resolution by voice vote Friday.

Republican Sen. Jim Rice from Caldwell told lawmakers that a patchwork of state labeling laws would be too complex for manufacturers and could raise food prices.

Rice says the Food and Drug Administration should make the rules standard across the county.

The House has already passed the request 41-24 last week.

legislature.idaho.gov

This story was updated with content from the Associated Press at 11:45 A.M.

Idaho parents of epileptic children appear to be slowly swaying the Idaho Legislature to allow the use of cannabis oil to treat seizure disorders.

Melody Joy Kramer / Flickr Creative Commons

Driverless cars are one step closer to joining Idaho citizens on the roads.

By a one vote margin, the Idaho Senate passed a bill allowing companies to test self-driving cars in Idaho. The bill also sets some regulations and guidelines aiming to improve safety.

Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. Bert Brackett told lawmakers Thursday he hopes the bill will attract innovative businesses to Idaho.

But the plan's insurance and liability requirements faced bipartisan opposition on the floor.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The legality over Idaho's contentious slot-like machines —known as instant horse racing terminals— sparked lengthy pleas on Wednesday from ranchers, horse breeders and jockeys arguing that removing the machines would cue the end to their industry.

The House State Affairs Committee listened to five hours of testimony regarding a bill that would repeal roughly 250 historical horse racing terminals currently installed in Idaho. The committee has not yet scheduled when they will vote on the bill.

The bill has already passed in the Senate.

Supporters of “knife rights” are urging Idaho lawmakers to pass a bill that would keep cities and counties from restricting the possession and sale of knives.

The Idaho Legislature will likely extend past its targeted March 27 end-date now that a House panel has killed a long-awaited proposal to boost teacher pay.

The panel's decision on Wednesday came at the same time the state's budget committee announced it would delay setting the education budget. The joint committee's chairmen cited uncertainty over the teacher pay bill for pushing back their budget setting.

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