National News

Apr 7, 2022

Governor highlights $50M investment in behavioral health

Idaho Gov. Brad Little and other state officials on Tuesday highlighted one of the state's largest-ever investments in behavioral health care. The Republican governor in a ceremonial event that included Idaho Supreme Court justices and lawmakers marked the $50 million approved by the Legislature in a series of appropriations bills this year that Little has already signed into law. "Our goal [...]

Apr 6, 2022

Officials finish buried nuclear waste cleanup at Idaho site

Work to dig up and remove radioactive and hazardous waste buried for decades in unlined pits at a nuclear facility that sits atop a giant aquifer in eastern Idaho has been completed, federal officials said. The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday held a celebration to mark the completion of removing specifically-targeted buried waste from a 97-acre (39-hectare) landfill at its 890-square-mil[...]

Apr 5, 2022

Without overriding any vetoes, Legislature adjourns session for the year

The Idaho Legislature adjourned the 2022 session for the year on March 31 without taking up any new bills or overriding any of Gov. Brad Little’s vetoes. The Idaho House of Representatives adjourned for the year “sine die” at about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, bringing to a close 81 tumultuous days at Idaho State Capitol in Boise. Sine die is the Latin phrase legislators use to indica[...]

Mar 31, 2022

Governor signs grocery sales tax credit boost

Gov. Brad Little has signed into law a $20 increase in the amount Idaho residents can recover on taxes paid on food through the grocery sales tax credit. The Republican governor signed last week the measure that boosts the annual maximum credit from $100 to $120 for people under 65 and from $120 to $140 for people 65 and over. The change takes effect starting with food purchased in 2023. [...]

Mar 30, 2022

Governor vetoes bill to pause COVID-19 vaccine requirements

Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Monday vetoed a bill that would block COVID-19 vaccine requirements until at least 2023. In his letter explaining the veto, Little said his decision was based on the same limited-government philosophy that prompted him to sue the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine requirements for certain workers. “I am vetoing this legislation because I am a lifelong [...]

Mar 29, 2022

House and Senate vote to adjourn until Thursday

The Idaho House and Senate each adjourned Friday until late next week, giving them time to wait out potential vetoes by Republication Gov. Brad Little. "It's difficult to override a veto," said Republican Senate President Pro-Tem Chuck Winder. "But we think that's the only way we can do it, if we hang around for five days," until March 31. Winder said one of the bills that has yet to be sign[...]

Mar 29, 2022

That deal on solar panels could be a scam, warns Idaho Attorney General

As winter’s gray skies give way to sunshine, some Idaho homeowners will harness those rays — looking for a way to cut utility bills and reduce their use of non-renewable energy. But consumers should be wary of claims that seem too good to be true, says Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. “There are some very reputable solar companies doing business here in Idaho, but some installer[...]

Mar 25, 2022

Idaho wildland firefighter hazard pay plan heads to governor

Legislation giving Idaho wildland firefighters hazard pay when confronting wildfires headed to the governor's desk on Monday after it was unanimously approved in the state Senate. State senators voted 35-0 for the bill that would give state-employed wildland firefighters hazard pay of up to 25% above their hourly wages. The bill to increase pay for Idaho Department of Lands wildland firefighter[...]

Mar 25, 2022

McGeachin casts tie-breaking vote to pass medical school tuition payback bill

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin cast a tie-breaking vote on Wednesday morning in the Idaho Senate to pass a bill that will require graduates of Idaho’s medical school to practice in the state for at least four years or pay back any tuition subsidized by public dollars. Under Senate rules, Idaho’s lieutenant governor acts as president of the Senate and can cast a vote in the event of a tie. Ho[...]

Mar 24, 2022

Idaho Senate approves gap financing fund for workforce housing

The Idaho Senate passed the bill providing $50 million to a workforce housing fund on Tuesday, using federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars to help build about 1,000 units of housing across Idaho. House Bill 701 passed 26-9 and was narrowly approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month. The program would provide grants to housing developers to help build units that could be ren[...]

Mar 23, 2022

House, Senate pass bill allowing some cybersecurity records to remain secret

Lawmakers in the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration and Senate have approved exempting some government cybersecurity records from public disclosure. The Associated Press (AP) originally reported that the House voted 48-20 to approve the bill (H0621) in February; the Senate approved the bill 35-0 Tuesday. If ultimately approved, the bill will "exempt disclosing the nature, location and fun[...]

Mar 22, 2022

A roundup of business-related legislation updates

Idaho House approves bill to prevent vaccine discrimination Legislation preventing most private and public entities in Idaho from discriminating against people who haven't received the coronavirus vaccine headed to the governor's desk on Friday. The House voted 45-23 to approve the measure preventing employers from requiring employees to get the vaccine or entities requiring visitors or attend[...]