Note: You can see how I voted on each of these bills by clicking on the bill number. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns as to how I voted and to understand my reasons for doing so.
Notable new laws
Use of cell phones while driving (H614). A statewide ban on non-hands free use of cell phones while driving goes into effect on July 1, 2020. Warnings will be issued through the end of 2020; fines begin on January 1, 2021.
Notification of rent increase (H594). Residential landlords are now required to provide 30-day advance written notice prior to increasing one’s rent or if they intend to not renew a lease.
Forced eviction of tenants (H461). A landlord can now forcibly evict a tenant and remove their possessions within 72 hours upon a court order of eviction. Judges do not have discretion to grant more time based on extenuating circumstances (e.g. illness, disabilities, emergencies, etc.).
Displaying political signs on your property (H503). Your homeowners association (HOA) can no longer prevent you from displaying political yard signs, the American flag or a POW/MIA flag on your property.
Predatory booting of cars (H345). This law prevents a car from being booted for the sole reason of an expired or improper vehicle registration.
Daycare safety (H549). Child care licensing requirements have been updated to comply with federal safety regulations and Idaho Child Care Program standards.
Redistribution of sales tax revenue among cities (H408). This law redistributes wealth from large cities to smaller cities. Boise will receive over $1 million less in sales tax revenue than it otherwise would have.
Idaho Patient Act (H515). This law protects consumers from predatory medical debt collectors.
Medicaid reimbursements (H351). This law cuts Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and nursing facilities, which could have a negative impact on Medicaid patients.
Tele-health (H342). This law enables greater use of technology to provide remote medical services, especially for those who have difficulty traveling to a medical service provider.
Vaping (H538). Vaping products are now incorporated into the definition of tobacco products and subject to the same regulations and vendor permit requirements.
Participation in women’s sports (H500). Your daughter participating in high school or college sports may now be required to undergo a physical genital examination and a blood test for testosterone levels and a DNA analysis (at your expense) if someone suspects or accuses her of being too masculine. The trigger language within this new law may impact any girl or young woman whose gender is “disputed” (page 3, line 15).
What didn’t happen
Property tax relief – Not a single bill was passed that would provide any form of sustainable property tax relief.
Grocery tax relief (H494) – Increase the grocery tax credit on state income tax. Died on House floor.
Minimum wage (H337) – Allow local governments to increase the minimum wage within their jurisdiction. Killed in House committee.
Voter registration (H336) – Enable an eligible citizen to be automatically registered to vote when they apply for or renew their driver’s license. Killed in House committee.
Plastic bags (H338) – Enable local municipalities to regulate the use of plastic bags within their jurisdiction. Killed in House committee.
Wrongful convictions (H384) – Provide financial compensation for a person wrongfully imprisoned. Vetoed by Governor.
Legalize industrial hemp (S1345) – Killed in committee.
Idaho is “Too Great to Hate” license plate (S1297) – Failed on House floor (“Idaho Chooses Life” license plate did become law).
Fair chance employment (S1318) – Prevent employers from asking about prior criminal convictions on a job application (often used to screen applicants from initial consideration). Died on House floor.
Retaliation for using paid sick leave (H475) – Prevent an employer from penalizing an employee for using their paid sick leave (via discipline, discharge, demotion, suspension, etc.). Died on House floor.
Classroom supplies (H554) – Compensate teachers for their out-of-pocket costs for basic classroom supplies not funded by the legislature. Killed in House committee.
Renter security deposit (H595) - Require residential landlords to provide an itemized receipt of the actual cost for repairs or cleaning being withheld from a security deposit. Failed on House floor.
Add the Words (S1226) – Add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act. Killed in Senate committee.
Contraceptive prescriptions (S1275) – Require insurance companies to provide its members with up to a six-month supply of contraceptives (current law only requires a one- to three-month supply per prescription). Killed in Senate committee.
Allow concealed weapons on school property (S1384) – Died in Senate committee.
End-of-session reviews in the media
Idaho State Journal
Boise State Public Radio (bills awaiting the Governor’s signature at the time the article was published, some of which were subsequently vetoed)