Idaho Legislative Update from a Nampa, Idaho Representative
Hey, Dave Edwards, Treasure Valley Dave here in Nampa, Idaho, and I want to give you a legislative update from Tina Lambert.
Tina Lambert is an Idaho representative representing the western part of Nampa and other places to the west and south of Nampa. She’s a lovely lady; Mrs. Treasure Valley Dave campaigned for her. She was able to update us on what happened at the legislature.
So in Idaho, the Idaho legislation is genuinely a part-time thing. They just worked 12 weeks this time and then voted sine die, which means they’re done for the year. So what did they get accomplished in the three months that they worked?
Idaho New Laws
Well, let me tell you, Tina says that conservatives did have some wins.
Property Tax Relief
A modest property tax relief comes with the passage of HB 292, and this plan allocates $110 million for homeowners and $100 million for school districts to help pay off bonds and levy debt. The schools pay off that bond and levy debt, and those won’t show up on property tax bills anymore. So let’s see what happens.
The bill also expanded eligibility criteria for the circuit breaker program, ensuring that Idahoans can benefit from property tax relief. So you can be in the circuit breaker program based on age, income, or disability status. If you are part of it, your property taxes can be reduced substantially. That’s something you have to apply for, and you have to apply for that year after year as opposed to the homeowner exemption. The latter is when you, the homeowner, live in the house that you apply for that exemption once, and it just stays with the house until you go ahead and move.
Vulnerable Child Protection Act
The next bill, HB 71, is the Vulnerable Child Protection Act. This law prohibits puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries for children under 18. So that’s what we’ve got going in Idaho. I know there’s a lot of controversy about that, but if that’s something you’re happy with and your state doesn’t do, you may want to be among like-minded people and move to Idaho.
No to Ranked-Choice Voting
So HB 179 is now also a law, preventing Idaho from using ranked choice of voting in elections. As I understand it, ranked-choice voting is when you have a whole slate of people you can vote for. So you rank them — from your primary hopeful to the next — and then you put all those together. If no one gets a 50%+ in the race, you go back and start knocking off people at the low end, and then you take your second choice, or they take your second choice and then add your vote.
I know that California and New York have this kind of law and what they ended up with in California and New York. So I rely upon our conservative representatives and senators in Idaho to protect us, and I believe they probably did with the passage of this bill.
No to Using School IDs for Identification
Tina Lambert is responsible for HB 124, which prevents using student IDs for identification at the voting polls. She said that anybody can get a school ID; no proof of identity is required. So that’s just another step to ensuring safe and fair elections.
Anti-Ammo Purchases Tracking
She also gave us an update on HB 295, which prevents credit card companies from tracking gun and ammo purchases in Idaho. So the federal government, Joe Biden, wants to take your guns whenever he turns around. So what will he do if he can’t do it through the government? He will have his friends in the banking industry track your moves. Well, not in Idaho, thank you very much.
Coronavirus Stop Act
Senate Bill 1130, Coronavirus Stop Act, also passed. It limits the ability of public and private entities to require people to receive a COVID shot. Your work, school, or whatever cannot require you to get a COVID shot. Having that protection a few years ago may have been nice, but we have it now. And as they find more tricky ways to get this COVID shot into you, maybe this will be good. And I say that because they’re looking at giving cows or other ways to get those shots into our food, so we’ll see. So we’ll encourage Tina to keep the freedoms of us Idahoans front and center as she moves forward.
Conservatives had some losses too.
Idaho Launch Program
Tina said it was HB 24. The Idaho Launch Program is the Governor’s little pet project where he’s taking government money — not his own — and giving $8,500 to each eligible high school graduate so they can use it for some workforce training and careers deemed essential. Some commentators have said this was just a payback to the different industries that give campaign checks to ensure they get enough people. And maybe that’s true; maybe it’s not. But Tina says that was not a win for conservatives, and I agree with her.
Grocery Tax Repeal
She also informed us that, as in previous sessions, no action was taken to repeal the grocery tax. Of course, there were a lot of people that had signed on, but it just never went anywhere.
Senate Bill 1004
Along those same lines, Tina said that she signed on with many other legislators to co-sponsor Senate Bill 1004, and this was to enhance Idaho’s Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws. Sadly, this bill never left the Senate State Affairs Committee.
That's How Politics Works
You get into a committee chairmanship and get to control what happens there and what laws come out. So if you think that your representative and your senator can do something for you, it’s a rare thing because all these entrenched people make sure that you can’t get through what you want through to protect your rights. You tell me if I’m wrong here, but when your rights as a regular old citizen are held up and strengthened, somebody else’s power must be weakened.
Who Protects Idaho Citizens' Rights?
Tina is doing everything she can to ensure we are well-protected as Idaho citizens. And it’s not just Tina.
We have others like Senator Tammy Nichols, who used to represent the House in Idaho. The last time she got voted, she moved to the Senate to help us out there. I know the Senate is much more conservative than it has been in the past, and the House of Representatives is perhaps not so much, but Tina’s there, and we have some other excellent folks in the Idaho House.
Getting More Political Involvement Matters
You could get more in there when you move up here, get involved, support these good candidates, and run yourself if you like. Heck, if you’re coming from California, Oregon, or Washington, you must be aware of the political shenanigans, to put it lightly. So many Idahoans want to see the best in people and don’t know when they’re getting shafted. You guys have been shafted so many times, you can see it in your sleep, and we would be grateful if you could get up here and take action and help people so Idaho stays and continues to get more conservative. Your rights are on the line. And gosh, if Newsom gets elected as president, I tell you what, I’d much rather be living in Idaho than in California.
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Until next time, it’s Dave Edwards; looking forward to helping you get home.