Idaho Legislature Punts and Punts…
It began with such great promise. Legislators across the Gem State vowed that this time they mean business. After a legislative offseason that featured the historic expansion of executive power, state senators and representatives had a hit list of goals that would become laws. The list echoed the wishes of the voters who loyally elected them year after year.
The governor's emergency powers use was number one on the agenda, followed by the usual property tax relief and the familiar eliminate/reduce Idaho's grocery tax. Our legislative body had been in session for several weeks, and not one of those bills has reached the governor's desk. I'm predicting that we will not have legislation that will solve any of the above problems.
Like him or not, Governor Little continues to influence the legislative branch of government. Under the US and Idaho Constitutions, we have coequal branches of government. They are the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
Under Covid, we've seen the executive branch exercise unprecedented expansion of powers that have been criticized at all levels. Governor Little has defended his use of the 'declaration of emergency,' saying that Idaho would not be eligible for federal funds without the declaration. He has spoken out against any curbing of his powers by the legislature. The governor appears to be winning.
When the legislature returns, we will hear the 'it's time to get things done so we can get home refrain. We've seen this movie before. The tragedy in this session is that we have Idahoans that are being squeezed out of their Gem State homes because of excessive taxes. Sadly, will anyone step up to help Idahoans save their homes? We are watching, are you?