SB 1067 Passes House And Senate
After vigorous debate and public testimony, SB 1067 (now titled HB1) was passed by the Idaho House and Senate. The House vote was 49-21, while the Senate voted 33-2. The bill now heads to Governor Otter's desk where he's expected to sign the legislation.
The special session began with legislators grilling Idaho Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong. The questions varied from specifics on the proposed legislation, concerns over the Hague, and why weren't lawmakers given more information on the bill. Armstrong acknowledged that lawmakers should've had more information.
Here are more details courtesy of the Idaho Statesman: Rep. Patrick McDonald, R-Boise, praised Director Armstrong’s presentation, but asked him: “Why wasn’t this information given to us at the first hearing?”
“In retrospect, there are a number of things we’d have done differently. No question,” Armstrong replied. “We believed that we were conveying the message. We thought we had covered the bases. We thought we had made it clear what the provisions were. Our role is to make sure we’re clear and that’s what we’re doing now.”
Public comment followed where the testimony with an eclectic mix of concerned citizens. Several child care advocates, parents, and grandparents urged lawmakers to pass the bill. The comment was emotional as they shared their stories caring for their kids. Conservative activists spoke of a concern for Idaho's Sovereignty, the loss of freedoms, and a need to defend the Constitution.
Governor Otter announced he will hold a news conference Tuesday morning. The speed of the vote is a clear victory for the governor and state leaders who negotiated behind the scenes after the legislature had adjourned.