From the Executive Director – Week of February 26, 2024

26 Feb 2024, by Seth Grigg Share :

Through seven weeks, the Legislature is on pace to eclipse the number of bills introduced in a single session since 2019. As of February 23rd, 717 pieces of legislation have been drafted, with 430 bills and 33 resolutions or memorials introduced. After seven weeks in 2023, 570 pieces of legislation had been drafted, with 338 bills and 14 resolutions or memorials introduced. You can find additional information in the Legislature’s weekly Progress Report.

As we head into March, the pace of legislative activity will dramatically pick up this week. To this point in the Session, the House and Senate have convened for floor sessions once a day. That will change this week as both bodies begin to wade through policy bills and appropriation bills awaiting action. At this point in the session, both bodies typically hold both morning and afternoon floor sessions, which allows them to stay on top of bills as they come out of committee.

March 4th is also the transmittal deadline for bills originating from one chamber to be transmitted to the other chamber. The transmittal deadline is an important benchmark to make sure bills are taken up and acted upon in a timely manner. This means the House and the Senate will largely prioritize their respective bills in committee and on the floor this week, holding off on voting on bills from the other chamber until their respective bills are acted upon. While the March 4th transmittal deadline is an important benchmark, it isn’t necessarily a firm deadline as leadership can authorize bills to advance out of their respective bodies after the transmittal deadline has passed.

As we head into the final weeks of the Session, here is a brief update on IAC’s legislative priorities and policies:

– Mandatory Minimums for Fentanyl Trafficking: House Bill 406 has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature

– House Bill 292 Fixes/HTR: House Bill 521 has passed the House and is awaiting hearing in the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee

– Emergency Communication Fee Increase (e911): House Bill 530 was introduced on February 9th and is awaiting hearing, there’s strong opposition from cellular and landline phone carriers, IAC has created a working group to further study the issue

– Exemption to hire Licensed Public Works Contractors for Projects Under $100,000: House Bill 571 is awaiting a vote on the House floor

– State Responsibility for CPS Cases: House Bill 521 (state funding for CPS) has passed the House and is awaiting hearing in the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee, Senate Bill 1367 (clarifying state responsibility for CPS cases) is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary & Rules Committee 

– Nonprofit Hospital Property Tax Exemption: Introduced in House Revenue & Taxation Committee on February 26th, bill number and hearing date TBD

– Amendments to Idaho’s Area of Impact Law: Being redrafted to address concerns of House leadership, introduction date TBD

– EMS: Discussions ongoing regarding designation of EMS as an essential service, moving EMS bureau from the Department of Health and Welfare to the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, and a funding source

– County Lodging and Tourism Tax: Discussions ongoing, current concept would split the existing tax 50/50 between promotion of tourism and mitigating impacts of tourism on counties

For the latest on all the legislation IAC is tracking, please visit the IAC Bill Tracker