February 18, 2020

1/30/2020 – Article: “Bipartisan Proposal Would Give Some Former Idaho Inmates A ‘Clean Slate'”

  • Article: “Bipartisan Proposal Would Give Some Former Idaho Inmates A ‘Clean Slate'”
  • “We hope [this proposal] will have a transformative effect on these peoples’ lives,” said House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel (D-Boise). Most other states have some sort of law that allows adults to seal their criminal records by following certain criteria. Rubel said that often, the time an individual serves in prison is the least of their worries. She said some people struggle to get jobs, scholarships, housing, or certain degrees because of their criminal background. Rubel said these are some of the “collateral consequences” that follow these folks around for the rest of their lives.

1/22/2020 – Article: “Bipartisan bill emerges to clean Idaho criminal slate”

  • Article: “Bipartisan bill emerges to clean Idaho criminal slate”
  • “Many of these folks deserve a real second chance, but we continue to hand out these collateral life sentences. We are proposing legislation referred to as a “Clean Slate” bill that would allow those who have committed non-violent, non-sexual offenses, who have completed their sentence (including probation and parole) and who have gone at least three years without reoffending to petition a court to have their public record sealed. If they can make their case to the judge that they are no longer a threat to society, they can earn a real shot at getting their lives back on track.”

1/22/2020 – Article: “Idaho legislators introduce ‘Clean Slate’ bill”

4/5/2019 – Article: “House sticks with Medicaid work requirements”

  • Article Link: “House sticks with Medicaid work requirements”
  • Excerpt: “I am beyond disappointed to be in the situation we’re in today,” Rubel said. “I feel like, after an entire session of bouncing around, we’ve really landed in the worst possible world. There was a lot of talk about how this was going to be a compassionate solution, that it was going to offer people training and counseling and help get them into the workforce. … But that’s all gone. That all got yanked … The only thing in this bill is the part where we’re going to spend millions of dollars to hire an enforcement squad to chase down the poorest people in the state and kick them off Medicaid. We’ve pulled out the only part that would actually help them get jobs.”

4/5/2019 – Article: “Idaho House alters bill to remove people from Medicaid”

  • Article Link: “Idaho House alters bill to remove people from Medicaid”
  • Excerpt: “The only thing that’s in this bill is the part where we hire an enforcement squad to chase down the poorest people in the state and kick them off Medicaid,” said Democratic Rep. Ilana Rubel in arguing against the bill.

4/5/2019 – Article/Audio: “Medicaid, Citizen Initiatives, And Two-Headed Camels”

  • Article Link: “Medicaid, Citizen Initiatives, And Two-Headed Camels”
  • About: It’s been a wild session and an even wilder week. Medicaid expansion sideboards and citizen initiative bills were the headliners. Lawmakers talked about everything from two-headed camels to moon shots to people losing their faith in lawmakers. “You know they talk about a camel being something that was made by a committee. We have a mangy, two-headed, rabid camel here,” says Democratic Representative Ilana Rubel.

3/29/2019 – Article: “Idaho House Signs Off On Two Initiative Restriction Bills”

  • Article Link: “Idaho House Signs Off On Two Initiative Restriction Bills”
  • Excerpt: Ultimately, opponents say the issue will be struck down by a judge on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional. An opinion from the Idaho Attorney General’s office says constricting the time-frame for signature gathering “could be problematic,” though that would be slightly increased under the new bill. “If you pass this, it’s going to go to court for sure and I slept like a baby last night because I’m very comfortable that this will not find its way into law,” says Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise), who’s also an intellectual property lawyer.

3/25/2019 – Sex education opt-in bill (House Bill 120) blocked in the Senate

It looks like HB120, the bill that would require parents to affirmatively opt in to allow their kids to receive sex education, has been blocked on the Senate side. And it appears that the school funding formula is unlikely to be voted on this year – there was just too much contention and uncertainty about who would win and lose. Discussions will likely continue through the summer and we’ll see a new version next year.

3/25/2019 – Rep. Rubel’s “Homeowner Solar Rights Bill” (House Bill 158) signed into law last Friday!

Rep Rubel Bill SigningHouse Bill 158, my “Homeowner Solar Rights bill”, was just signed into law on Friday!

This will protect homeowners from unreasonable HOA prohibitions on solar installation – a protection that is already on the books in every other Western state. This should meaningfully boost solar adoption in Idaho.

Here we are with the Governor at the signing ceremony:

3/25/2019 – Despite public and professional opposition, House Bill 277 advances

HB277 passed the House Thursday 45-25 after many hours of contentious debate and overwhelming public opposition in committee. Here’s my floor debate if you’re interested – it lays out the main arguments against the bill.

HB277 (which is opposed by the Idaho Hospital Ass’n, the Idaho Medical Ass’n, the Idaho Education Ass’n, and virtually every medical organization in the state) would add work requirements and other significant restrictions to Proposition 2. It would require 22 new enforcement personnel, with the net effect that it is projected to cost at least $3-4 million more than “clean” Medicaid expansion as passed by the voters, and would re-create an uninsured gap of ~22,000 people.

The bill was rushed through on such an accelerated basis that we still do not have a full fiscal analysis addressing what it will cost the state and counties. There is another “Medicaid sideboards” bill that it on its way to the Senate floor that is much less restrictive – stay tuned to see which version emerges.