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A giant Idaho flag hangs in the rotunda of the state Capitol for the 2021 Idaho legislative session.

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Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, the House assistant majority leader, introduced three new bills aimed at limiting the governor's emergency powers this afternoon. Each of the three contains a part of the vetoed HB 135a, though not all pieces of that bill are incorporated; a 60-day limit on emergency orders unless extended by the Legislature, for example, isn't there.

Monks said, "The Senate is well aware of this." As for the governor, he said, "We had some negotiations on SB 1136," the Senate emergency-powers bill that also was vetoed and on which the Senate failed to override the veto, "and was told that they don't want to look at 135. So we moved forward this direction."

"They're aware that these are coming," Monks said.

One of the bills "clarifies that constitutional rights do not go away during an emergency order," Monks said. The second "says during emergency declarations you can't create or amend laws, that that power is reserved to the Legislature."

The third, he said, "is that all jobs are essential, any restrictions during an emergency must be tailored not to restrict jobs based on classification or type."

"We decided to break 'em up," Monks told the House Ways & Means Committee. "It makes 'em, I think, a little bit cleaner this way. If you have a concern with one of those, you might be able to support the others."

Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett, moved to introduce all three bills, and her motion passed on a 4-3 party-line vote.

Monks said after the meeting that he doesn't expect the new bills to have hearings, but instead to go straight to the House floor. The proposals, he said, have "been in front of the State Affairs Committee a lot," in earlier versions of HB 135a and in HB 135a, though "maybe not the exact same language."

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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