There are at least three voting restriction bills coming through right now.

  1. HB547 makes it a crime to deliver someone else’s ballot if they are not in your family / household. I am very concerned about this bill, which was opposed by disability advocates, because it makes it harder for seniors and those with disabilities to vote as they often rely on neighbors or caregivers for help. It also solves no existing problem – there has never been an instance of fraud in Idaho involving ballot delivery. Here’s my floor debate if you want to learn more about this. It’s off to the Senate now – you can still weigh in by emailing the Committee Chair or by testifying at the Senate hearing.
  2. HB439 prevents unaffiliated voters from switching their registration after the candidate filing deadline. This doesn’t matter for Democratic primaries, which are open to all voters, but it would limit access to Republican primaries where only registered Republicans may vote.
  3. HB549 would end same-day voter registration and would prevent registration using student ID cards for identification (but would allow concealed carry permits for voter registration). This has not made it out of Committee, but is worth watching as it could severely restrict student (and overall) voter participation.


The Legislature did pass HB443 opening up state health insurance to teachers, but it appears to have been underfunded by ~$80 million, so I’m concerned it will be a struggle getting funding into other education priorities. Efforts are afoot to get full-day kindergarten, loan forgiveness for teachers in rural and underserved areas and more – stay tuned on those. I wish we had not been so quick to pass that $600 million corporate / top margin income tax cut in the first week of session – it now appears we don’t have enough money left for some critical needs.


There is a plan in the works to end all owner-occupied property tax and replace it with an 8% sales tax – the highest in the country. Many important questions arise: Will this actually generate enough money for local governments to function? Will it raise costs for renters, as rental properties would have to pick up some of the property taxes not paid by homeowners? In what ways would tax liability shift? What would this do to retailers, especially those near the borders of states with lower or no sales tax?

Health care

Happily, HB561, sponsored by me and Rep. Green, passed the House and is off to the Senate. We are working to enhance emergency medical services across Idaho.