Idaho House on March 18, 2021 by Brian

The Idaho House, shown on March 18, 2021.

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After it had passed the controversial initiatives bill and killed the higher ed budget, the House took up a slew of other bills, passing them all; some required suspending rules to take them up early. Among them: The first two pieces of the public schools budget, both of which passed unanimously 70-0. Those were HB 357, to fund the facilities division; and HB 359, to fund educational services for the deaf and blind. The House also gave quick passage to SB 1136 as amended, the Senate-passed "martial law" bill that's part of a two-bill package to trim back the governor's emergency powers and increase the Legislature's. The other piece is HB 135, now pending in the Senate; sponsor Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, said both bills have the same wording regarding allowing declared emergencies to last only for 60 days unless extended by the Legislature, along with an array of other provisions. SB 1136aa passed the House 54-16 and heads to the governor's desk.

Also passed by the House today, with little debate, were the budget bills for the Idaho Supreme Court, the Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses, the Secretary of State and the Idaho State Historical Society. The Senate also worked through lots of the bills on its calendar today, finally adjourning after 6:15 p.m.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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