Rep. Ron Nate - Idaho Legislative Update - 4/22/21

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Idaho State Legislture

April 22, 2021

Rep. Ron Nate - District 34

Idaho Capitol Building

Sticking Points in the Final Days of the Legislature

  At the end of every legislative session in Idaho, you may hear about "going home" issues yet to be settled.  A "going home" issue is a legislative imperative which many leaders and legislators agree must be accomplished before adjourning the legislature for its 9-month intersession.  In this 2021 legislature there are still a few final "going home" items on our to do list, but they have become sticking points for many members.  I plan to stay strong and work hard to make sure all these issues are accomplished before we go home.  Here are the key must-do items before calling it good: 

  • K-12 Education budget approval
  • Higher Education budget approval
  • Integrity in Education Policy
  • Income/Property Tax Reduction
  • Balance of Powers Clarity (Legislature and Governor)  

  The top three items on the list are of utmost importance and they are all tied together.  As mentioned in my Legislative Update last week (4/15/21), the education budgets were both rejected by the House Representatives. They were rejected provisionally until we have added legislation to protect Idaho teachers, students, and families from the ideologies being forced on them and required for teaching or learning success.  Both the budget bills are back in the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee so that prohibitions on Critical Race Theory and Social Justice ideology advocacy and promotion may be added to the directions of how public funds are to be used in Idaho schools (at all levels). That is what integrity in publicly funded education means. Additionally, protections against these Marxist ideologies being used against teachers or students are being addressed in House Bill H377 which is making its way through the House and will hopefully be headed to the Senate and Governor soon.


   Next is tax policy.  While the majority of Idahoans and legislators and even the Governor express support for ending the sales tax on groceries, it's been effectively shut down by House leaders. Idaho will remain one of only five states to fully tax groceries (and the third highest tax at that).  Instead, our "going home" tax bill to cut income tax rates (from 6.925% down to 6.5%) and provide to each taxpayer a Biden-like, one-time tax rebate (starting at $50 and up to 9% of last years taxes paid) is the one moving forward.  House Bill H380 is the new bill and it passed the House today.  Side note: Unfortunately, it appears that neither Grocery Tax Repeal or any significant Property Tax relief will be coming out of the legislature this year.  


   Finally, the legislature has been haggling, debating, and sometimes stalling over the issue of making sure the Governor constrains his power within his Constitutional and statutory bounds. The legislature must restrain the Governor's powers during an emergency.  Emergencies are exactly the time when our Constitutional rights are at the most risk.  Two bills easily (with more than 2/3 vote) made their way to the Governor's desk last week, S1136 (which says the Governor cannot change Idaho laws during an emergency) and H135 (which protects Idahoans' rights and limits the length of Governor emergency declarations).  Both bills were vetoed by the Governor, leaving it to the Senate and House to override the vetoes.  Unfortunately, the Senate had 5 senators flip their votes and the override failed on S1136.  The House easily passed a veto override on H135 on a 48-19 vote, even though a few flipped their votes too.  Please call your senators to make sure they vote to override the veto of H135, and to reconsider their failed override on S1136 by introducing a new bill. 


   The legislature has been in session for 102 days now (3rd longest session in Idaho history), but I am committed to staying here as long as necessary to make sure we finish the important work we were sent here to do.  We must get education right, reduce taxes, and protect all Idahoans' God-given rights (emergency or not).  I appreciate the strong support I have received from the good people of District 34 throughout the process.



Hand gun

Second Amendment Bill Update

   House and Senate leadership won't allow a hearing on Senator Christy Zito's Small Arms Protection Act H300.  Instead, they took Senator Zito's good work and they are now promoting a new small arms protection bill as their own, in a slightly edited version, S1205. The Senate Pro Tem publicly stated that it was Senator Zito's bill, but Senators Lakey and Lodge put their names on the new version and made it so Senator Zito had to ask to include her name on the co-sponsors list. The same thing happened in the House.  Rep. Giddings was the floor sponsor for H300; but house leadership put Rep. Boyle's name on the new bill so any positive headlines will show the favored names of leadership as the proponents. This is a disappointing example of how the establishment operates to bolster their own platforms and undermine their conservative adversaries. Senator Lakey will present S1205 on Monday, and it should pass through both chambers quickly. This a rare case when the typical swamp tactics will end up being good for gun owners in the long run. Many thanks to Senator ZitoGreg Pruett with the Idaho 2nd Amendment Alliance, and the thousands of gunowners across Idaho who made this happen!




Weekly Peek:  Critical Race Theory in Kids' Books

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

We need to STOP Senate Bill S1193 in the House!

S1193 is a replacement bill for House Bill, H226 that the House defeated a few weeks ago, and will likely be up for a vote in the next day or two! 


The bill appropriates a $6 million federal grant to the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (IDAEYC), an activist nonprofit group that is affiliated with the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  The money will be used at least in part for a federal program to indoctrinate children from birth to 5 with Critical Race Theory and Social Justice ideology.  The NAEYC makes it a goal to fund this program for a few years, then leave it up to the state to take over the program and pay for it.


   Adding to these concerns is a new federal rule about grants (ED-2021-OESE-0033) making the inclusion of Critical Race Theory the first priority in applying for, winning, and administering federal grants.  The rule is now part of the federal requirements. If Idaho wants to maintain its sovereignty regarding education, we should reject S1193, and find better alternatives for educating and caring for thousands of Idaho kids in the pre-K age range.  Families and communities will no-doubt do much better for our kids than a federal program tied to Marxist ideas ever will.  This will be a close vote and I plan to vote against this bill while encouraging alternatives that better support Idaho and American values. 


   To highlight the potential problems with the federal grant, please take a look at these examples of 3 of the 85 books that were listed on IDAEYC's website.  These are suggested books for the pre-K ages.  After House members raised concerns about these books during the House debate,  IDAEYC hid the books from their website, but the link still works.    


   If you are concerned about this type of early indoctrination, please contact your House Representatives and ask them to vote NO on this type of teaching for our kids!  Thank you for caring about Idaho!


Book 1 Example:  A is for activist

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

Book 2 Example: Antiracist Baby

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

Book 3 Example:
Not My Idea-A Book About Whiteness

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books

Critical Race Theory in Kid's Books


Bills to Watch:

House Bills:

H1          Governor's Powers in Emergency                   House State Affairs

H4          Parental Rights in Disasters                            House Judiciary and Rules

H7          Idaho Treasury Gold/Silver Holdings               Senate State Affairs

H21        Lemonade Stand Freedom                              Senate Local Government - held

H53        Electronic Public Notice                                   House Failed

H56        Abolish Abortion                                               House Ways and Means

H63        Vaccination Freedom                                       House Ways and Means

H66        Bond and Levy Ballot Disclosure                     Senate Amending Orders

H72        Powerball Lottery Continuance                        House State Affairs - dead

H77        Responsible Childhood Independence            House Judiciary and Rules - held

H133      Idaho Roads and Bridges                                House Transportation

H135      Emergency Declarations, Const. Rights          To Governor

H140      Vaccination Freedom Protections                    Senate Commerce

H175      Mandates In-Person Public Schools               Senate 3rd Reading

H195      Targeted Picketing                                           House Failed - dead

H199      Sales / Income Tax Cuts                                  House Revenue & Taxation - dead

H213      Income Tax Exemption, Relief                         House Revenue & Taxation - dead

H216      Medicaid, Supplemental Appropriation            Signed, LAW

H238      Wolves, Predator & Hunting                            House Resources

H246      Disasters, Parental Rights                               Senate Amending Orders

H256      Sales in Cash, Requirement                            House Revenue & Taxation

H266      Cloud Seeding                                                 Senate 3rd Reading

H291      Business Bill of Rights                                     Senate State Affairs

H294      Education Expenses, School Choice               Senate - Failed

H300      2nd Amendment Firearms                               House State Affairs - Held

H332      Income Tax Cut, Rebates                                Senate Amending Orders

H339      Prohibiting Mask Mandates                             House General Orders

H342      Local and State Roads Projects                      Senate Transportation

H347      Income Tax Filing Deadline                             House 3rd Reading

H352      Education, Racist & Sexist Concepts              House - Held at Desk

H354      Appropriation, Education - Teachers                House - Failed

H362      Local and State Roads Projects                      Senate 3rd Reading

H377      Education, Critical Race Theory                      House 2nd Reading

H380      Income Taxes, Rebates                                   House 2nd Reading


HCR1     Resolution to End Emergency                         House State Affairs

HCR5     Gatherings and Group Size                             Senate State Affairs

HJR1      Legislature Calling Sessions                           Senate State Affairs - held

HJR4      Psychoactive Drugs Amendment                    House - Failed


Senate Bills:

S1001      Disaster, Governor Powers                            Senate State Affairs

S1002      Disaster, Governor Spending Powers            Senate State Affairs

S1003      Governor Powers, Martial Law                       Senate State Affairs

S1027      Idaho Wrongful Conviction Act                       Signed, LAW

S1028      Minimum Wage Increase                                Senate State Affairs

S1044      Eminent Domain Limitation                            Signed, LAW

S1069      Elections, Absentee Ballots                            House State Affairs

S1085      Fetal Heartbeat - Pro-Life                               Senate State Affairs

S1087      Smoking Age to 21                                         House FAILED

S1099      Red Light Fines - Triple                                  Senate Transportation

S1043      Student Expulsions, Exec. Session                House 3rd Reading

S1110      Ballot Initiatives, Voting                                   To Governor

S1135      Firearms, Schools                                           Senate State Affairs

S1136      Emergencies, Authority of Governor              Veto Override failed in Senate

S1179      Appropriations, Colleges & Universities          House - FAILED

S1193      Pre-K Federal Grant                                       House 3rd Reading

S1202      State Board / Pre-K Federal Grant                 House 1st Reading

S1205      2nd Amendment, Firearms                             Senate State Affairs


SCR101   Terminating Disaster Emergency                   Senate State Affairs

SJR101    Psychoactive Drugs Amendment                   House State Affairs

SJR102    Legislative Sessions, Special Call                  House State Affairs


You can learn more about all the legislation being considered in the legislature.
Just check the House and Senate Reading Calendars found at the links below:

House Reading Calendar:

Senate Reading Calendar:




How Are Your Legislators Voting?

Every vote your legislator makes offers insight into their beliefs, principles and willingness to follow the constitution.  Below is a link to a website that tracks Idaho legislators' votes, and scored them.  How do your legislators rate?  Click below to find out!

Here is a link to a non-profit (Idaho Freedom Foundation) that tracks all Idaho legislators' voting records.  Bills are scored using a rating metric based on adherence to the constitution, if the bill grows government, if it hinders private business, along with other standards. Where does your legislator stand?  Will you hold them accountable?