2021 Idaho Legislative Session Timeline on the Topic of COVID

I tried to be as comprehensive as I can be. If you have any additions put it in the comments and I’ll add it to the timeline.

12/15/20: Democrats urge to delay legislative session until 04/06/2021 due to fear of spreading the virus

12/21/2020: Idaho legislature reconfigures seating for physical distancing and created overflow rooms for committee hearings. Public may testify remotely, but testimony could be thrown out at the whim of the House or Senate. Lawmakers can have plexiglass shields if they request one. Legislative services staff are required to wear masks when not inside their individual offices. H-VAC runs 24/7 in an effort to pull in as much fresh air as possible

12/22/2020: Further legislative precautions announced: expanded audio and video capabilities in every committee room, the H-VAC filters air, UV purification systems, and hand sanitizer will be available throughout the statehouse. Masks will not be required. Democrats again urge that the legislative session be delayed until April.

01/07/21: Democratic lawmakers file a lawsuit in federal courts against the Idaho Legislature in an attempt to delay the legislative session. The Democrats say that there aren’t enough precautions and cite examples of how the republican leaders haven’t taken enough steps to prevent the spread of the virus

01/11/2021: Legislative session begins

01/14/2021: Idaho House panel introduces bill aimed at allowing unlimited attendance at all gatherings, despite COVID-19

01/15/2021: Request to work remotely is denied. Governor’s office says it is exempt from the City of Boise’s mask mandate.

01/17/2021: House Staffer tests positive, but House wont be notified till several days later

01/18/2021: Senators and staff were notified about a possible exposure after a Senate staffer tested positive over the weekend. Secretary of State urges lawmakers to “practice techniques that we have been taught during this pandemic.” Chuck Winder says no one has been sent home.

01/19/2021: Senators ignore the Secretary of State’s memo and conduct business on Senate floor without wearing masks or social distancing.

01/22/2021: Gov. Little blasts Legislature over efforts to limit emergency declaration power

01/26/2021: Article on House staffer testing positive becomes public (See 01/17/2021)Senators refuse to wear masks despite staffers testing positive

01/27/2021: Former House speakers Mike Simpson and Bruce Newcomb pen letter saying Legislature’s actions on emergency declarations endanger Idahoans

01/28/2021: Attorney general: Idaho lawmakers can’t sidestep governor in effort to limit emergency declaration powers

01/29/2021: Federal judge agrees to fast track lawsuit filed on 01/07/2021, requires Speaker of House and Legislature to file response by 02/02/2021

02/03/2021: Senate proposes legislation that would require governor’s expired orders to be renewed by Legislature

02/05/2021: biparisan Reps. John Gannon and Bruce Skaug propose legislation to speed up covid vaccine rollout

02/11/21: Two staffers test positive

02/22/2021: House bill introduced to eliminate coronavirus as an emergency

02/23/2021: Attorney General says Legislature’s proposed law to trim governor’s powers while increasing its wn during declared emergencies such as a pandemic will have unintended consequences and is partially unconstitutional

02/25/2021: Democratic lawmakers drop the lawsuit that was filed on 01/07/2021

03/03/2021: House passes legislation to define how severe an epidemic must be before it qualifies as a disaster worthy of emergency aid – excludes coronavirus pandemic.Governor defends his use of executive power during pandemic

03/12/2021: Rep. Bruce Skaug tests positive for CoronavirusSenate passes legislation to trim Governor’s emergency powers

03/15/2021: House panel approves prohibition on mask mandates

03/17/2021: Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke fears legislative shut down, urges House members to take precautions so session can end as scheduled by 03/26/2021.

03/17/2021: Rep. Julie Yamamoto of Caldwell tests positive and immediately left the Statehouse.

03/18/21: 3 more Idaho House members and Senate staffer test positive, another House member is in quarantine. Legislators who are infected aren’t wearing masks. Legislators saying “It feels like it’s getting out of control here”. More than a dozen infections in total.

03/18/2021: Two more Representatives test positive, 5 in under a week.

03/19/2021: Halted until at least 04/06/2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *