A real emergency alert and how to help! Rep. Heather Scott

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Idaho State Legislture

Week #4                  A Real Emergency Alert                            February 5, 2021         

Representative Heather Scott - District 1


Click photo (or HERE) for an audio version of this update made earlier in the week.


We just finished our fourth week of the 2021 Idaho Legislative session and the workload has remained steady and constant. Over 150 bills have been introduced, although only a few have made it through both the House and Senate. The executive branch’s maintained “emergency” is still churning along, relatively unchecked. Legislators are trying to carefully craft ways to rein in the emergency controls of the executive branch and of public health districts with veto-proof language. Many citizens have awakened to government overreaches and are eager to restore the balance of power among the branches of government. There are many bill drafts floating around the legislature attempting to address this issue but, to date, none has emerged as the frontrunner to get passed. There are also different opinions regarding Idaho’s seemingly perpetual dependence on federal funds, and whether we should turn off the federal money spigot or not.


In my opinion, the hesitancy of many legislators to immediately tackle head-on the emergency and governor’s powers is based on pressure from the governor’s office and from the large corporate lobbyist group known as Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI-LINK). Most of the IACI members are large corporations, tech companies, and health care industries who are reaping enormous profits from the “COVID emergency.” Many legislators eat from the hand of this group and, while in session, seem to value IACI’s opinions and agendas more than the citizens they were elected to represent. If you are concerned or interested in learning more about the lobbying connections between your individual representatives and/or senator, you can visit the Secretary of State’s website page on campaign finance to learn more. (LINK)

Idaho Emergency Operation Plan


There is a state plan for addressing emergencies (LINK). According to this plan on page IA6-Page 5, Idaho would be considered to be in a moderate pandemic, when the fatality rate for a said disease reaches 1.5%. Currently there is a 99.6 percent survival rate if you are infected with COVID-19. Recent Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) data shows survival rates by age groups below (LINK):



Compare this with 2020 data produced by the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Division of Public Health, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. They estimate the total 2020 deaths in Idaho by all causes, including COVID-19, was 16,388 out of a population of 1.752M. This is 0.00935 of the population, or less than 1%. Total deaths for 2019 were 14,430 out of 1.736M population which is 0.0083 of the a population, again less than 1%. Looking at this data would lead one to conclude that the emergency/pandemic which the governor keeps promoting, is over in Idaho. 

 As John Adams once said, “facts are stubborn things.”


Experimental COVID Treatment

Covid-19 treatment drug rollouts are happening statewide. Health districts are taking the lead locally for the distribution. Federal money is not the problem with the rollout; it is a supply/demand issue.  If you are interested in getting a shot of this RNA-replicate-type drug, contact your local health districts or visit them online. Please make sure you understand both the short- and long-term potential hazards from experimental treatments. 


Citizens have been frustrated with the blatant government overreach and violation of their liberties during this declared “emergency.” The word “impeachment” has been mentioned by citizens and amongst legislators. Just as citizens can collect signatures on a petition to recall a governor, Article 5 of the Idaho State Constitution allows the Idaho House of Representatives to impeach a governor. While I agree the governor has violated our state constitution many times, blaming just one person for the situation we are in is not a long-term fix for extreme issues facing Idaho citizens. If, perchance, the governor was impeached by the House of Representatives, the lieutenant governor would immediately assume the powers and responsibilities of the governor. Pursuant to Article 4, Section 12, of the Constitution of the State of Idaho, upon impeachment (which requires only a majority vote in the House of Representatives), the powers of the governor devolve upon the lieutenant governor. 


A Real Emergency Alert and How to Help!

Bureaucrats in the governor’s office appear to be attempting to undermine our statutory language and, ultimately, our Idaho State Constitution. There are numerous instances this session where the executive branch is pushing to change the wording in many laws, rules and statues. They are pressing to replace use of the word “shall” with use of the word “must.” The objective behind this pressure appears to be changing the meaning of words. The word “shall” means that something that is mandatory.  The words “shall not” mean that something is strictly prohibited. Those words have had clear meaning for centuries.


The scheme seems to be replacing the word "shall" with the word “must” in Idaho Code, rules and the Idaho State Constitution.  In other words, if you want things to be strictly required, or strictly prohibited, only the word “must” will then suffice. It would seem that once citizens understand the shenanigans government will play when wiggle words are used, they (government) must then try a different trick. In this case, the word “shall” is no longer sufficient to compel strict compliance, and the words “shall not” will no longer be sufficient to strictly prohibit conduct.   Where the word “shall” remain, it can then be interpreted by courts and a discretionary term, rather than a compulsory term – “must” then means “shall,” and “shall” then means “may.”



Idaho citizens are quite clear on the language of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution which states “... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” Using and replacing well-understood words with ambiguous terms confuses citizens and cedes more power to the courts.   If you want to undermine a well-established constitution by changing just one word that is currently accepted and well-understood by all, what better word than shall?

Action Items you might consider:

  • Call or email your legislators and ask them to abandon efforts to replace the word shall with must in administrative rules and law.  
  • Ask them to consider sponsoring  legislation to restore the integrity and founding intent in our law.
  • Call or email members of the executive branch and ask them to stop their efforts to undermine Idaho laws and our liberties by using ambiguous terms, rather than clear and concise language, when suggesting the legislature make changes to current laws.

While I continue to track the source of this language replacement effort, I want to share a little information about the meaning of the word shall.



The word shall is well understood amongst the general public and has been used since biblical times. Most citizens can recite at least two or three of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shall NOT murder”, “Thou shall NOT steal”, “Thou shall NOT bear false witness”, etc.  In the founding of this country, the word shall was one of the most commonly used words in our constitution.

A brief Government-101 review shows us just how important the word shall was to the Framers of our U.S. Constitution, and how deceitful this new effort seems to be. Imagine how destructive to your liberties changing the meaning of the word shall would be. Take a look at the first nine amendments in the Bill of Rights:

Amendment I

“Congress SHALL make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Amendment II

“... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms SHALL not be infringed.”

Amendment III

“No Soldier SHALL, in time of peace be quartered in any house...”

Amendment IV

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL not be violated, and no Warrants SHALL issue, but upon probable cause...”

Amendment V

“No person SHALL be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor SHALL any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor SHALL be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor SHALL private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Amendment VI

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused SHALL enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime SHALL have been committed, which district SHALL have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him....”

Amendment VII:

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy SHALL exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury SHALL be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, SHALL be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States....”

Amendment VIII:

“Excessive bail SHALL not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Amendment IX:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, SHALL not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”


   As you can see, the word shall is pretty important and well understood when it comes to our relationship with government. What do you think about replacing it with the word must?


Click on photo (or HERE) to view video

There is a large surplus of $663 left in the state's checkbook.  The governor has big spending plans with your money.  His "Building Idaho's Future" is full of many crony projects.  It is unfortunate that the governor puts special interest projects above property, grocery, or income tax relief for the little guy.  You can watch me in the video above to see what I think about it! (LINK)