June 20, 2019

3/17/2019 – Video: Press conference on Senate Bill 1159 – the “Revenge on Voters Act”

  • Video: Minority Leadership press conference on SB1159 – the Revenge on Voters Act

3/1/2019 – Climate hearing announced / “Homeowner Solar Rights Bill” (House Bill 158) vote is Monday!

Following up on the well-received public hearing I hosted in 2017, Rep. Rob Mason and I are holding the first ever official committee hearing on climate change at 1:30 on March 6 in the House Energy, Environment & Technology Committee. If you want to send a message that the public cares about this issue, please come – we want to pack the house. High attendance speaks volumes.

Also, my “Homeowner Solar Rights” bill, HB158, is getting a full House vote on Monday. This bill would prevent HOA’s from unreasonably prohibiting homeowners from installing rooftop solar panels. Idaho is currently the only state in the West that does not have such a provision. You can easily email a message of support to the whole House here.

3/1/2019 – First Responders Legislation (Senate Bill 1028) heading to the Governor’s desk!

Rep. Mat Erpelding’s bill to provide workers’ compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress (SB1028) has passed both the House and the Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk. Exciting news for our first responders!

3/1/2019 – Child marriage laws in Idaho (House Bill 98 / House Bill 170)

Two things happened yesterday that I feel undermine children’s safety. Idaho leads the nation in child marriage – it is legal here for a 40 year old to marry a 14 year old. Rep. Melissa Wintrow brought HB98 yesterday to raise the marriage age to 16 to conform to statutory rape laws, but it was shot down on the Floor.

Then, immediately afterward, the House passed HB170, which would prevent a Child Protection Services agent from asking children any questions without a warrant or parental permission. This could severely hamper the investigation of genuine child abuse, even when injuries or abuse are in plain view. It’s on its way to the Senate.

3/1/2019 – Progress blocked on early childhood education bill

The House Education Committee refused to even print an early childhood education bill, killing our hopes for progress on this front this year. Meanwhile, HB120, a bill that would require parents to affirmatively opt in to allow their kids to receive sex education, passed on a party-line vote (Democrats voting no) and is headed to the Floor.

3/1/2019 – Rep. Rubel’s bill for mandatory sentencing reform advances (House Bill 99)

HB99, my bill which would reform mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses by giving judges more discretion in sentencing, passed from committee and will be voted on by the full House on Monday. This one has strong bipartisan support – we’ll see what happens on the Floor.

3/1/2019 – Update of Medicaid expansion

I have been told that on Monday a bill will be introduced that would add work requirements to Medicaid, cause Medicaid Expansion to terminate upon any federal reimbursement rate adjustment and add other “sideboards” to Proposition 2 as passed by the voters. I anticipate this will become a very hot topic very quickly, especially if it makes it out of committee.

2/20/2019 – Update on Rep. Rubel’s “Homeowner Solar Rights Bill” (House Bill 158)

My “Homeowner Solar Rights” bill, HB158, was heard yesterday in the House Business Committee. This bill would prevent HOA’s from unreasonably prohibiting homeowners from installing rooftop solar panels – Idaho is currently the only state in the West that does not have such a provision, and it has led to our state lagging dramatically in solar power use. Despite overwhelming public testimony in support, it was sent to the Amending Order. Stay tuned – anything could happen from here.

Meanwhile, I am planning a hearing on climate change with Rep. Rob Mason to be held at 1:30 pm on March 6 in the House Energy, Environment & Technology Committee. Come if you can!

2/20/2019 – First responders compensation bill advances to House (Senate Bill 1028)

Rep. Mat Erpelding’s bill to provide workers’ compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress (SB1028) passed the Senate 31-4 and is on its way to the House for a hearing tomorrow. I’m a co-sponsor, and am greatly hoping we can provide this critical support to our first responders.

2/20/2019 – Partisan redistricting / gerrymandering bill (HJR2) sent back to committee after public outcry

HJR2, the bill that would have created a partisan redistricting process in Idaho in lieu of our current bipartisan system, was sent back to committee after substantial citizen outcry. Well done, citizens!