House Ways & Means meets for 2nd time Monday

The House Ways & Means Committee meets for the second time that day on the evening of Monday, May 3, 2021.

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Well, the House Ways & Means Committee has met for the second time today, this time introducing just one new bill: A 50-page bill to amend every bill passed so far this session that doesn't have an emergency clause to take effect July 1, when bills normally take effect. The legislative session has run so long, however, that it's run afoul of the Idaho Constitution's provision that bills take effect no sooner than 60 days after the session ends, unless they have an emergency clause.

July 1 is the date the state's new budget year starts. We're already past the 60-day mark before that.

"It's a very long 50-page bill, because it's every bill we've passed so far, to amend them with a new effective date," Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, told the committee. Each of them will be given an emergency clause in the new bill. The panel voted to introduce itl, but first, committee Chairman Rep. Paul Amador, R-Coeur d'Alene, had a question. 

"What happens if there’s bills after this passes?" Amador asked.

"Another bill," Monks said. "And yes, we will have one."

After the committee meeting, the House convened again around 7:30 p.m. solely to allow the new bill to be read across the desk. Because the title alone is 10 pages long, that reading, which can't be waived under House rules, is expected to take around half an hour.

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, said after the committee meeting that tomorrow, "I want to be finished. We can come back after a week and look at whatever the governor does."

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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