Abortion, immigration, and gun legislation introduced in committees

It was a busy day at the Idaho State Capital on Wednesday, as abortion, immigration and 2nd Amendment legislation were introduced by Republican lawmakers.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:56 PM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —It was a busy day at the Idaho State Capital on Wednesday, as abortion, immigration and 2nd Amendment legislation were introduced by Republican lawmakers.

On Wednesday morning in the House State Affairs Committee, there was a public hearing for Rep. Bruce Skaug’s proposed bill to penalize local entities who do not enforce Idaho’s criminal abortion laws.

Skaug’s proposed legislation aims to withhold sales tax and use revenues from local governments that willfully defy the state’s abortion statutes by passing policy that prohibits the enforcement or investigation of abortion laws.

The proposed legislation says defiant local governments have 180 days to comply, if they refuse the money will be forfeited and deposited in the state’s general fund.

In July it was reported the Boise City Council passed a resolution refusing to prioritize or fund investigations into criminal abortions

One proponent of the legislation said, “We the people are required to comply with Idaho’s laws. If we fail to comply we face penalties, so why should local officials or municipalities be exempt from following laws? They should not.”

The proposed legislation received overwhelming support from people who spoke at the committee hearing, but one person was concerned the legislation would dictate how local governments should set their budget and priorities

She said, “Let entities set their own decisions on what is important for their people. Yes, laws have to be followed but…what is working for different areas is going to be different for different parts of the state.”

Skaug’s proposed bill received a do pass recommendation, and is now heading to the House Floor.

Also on Wednesday, Republican Sen. Daniel Foreman introduced three pieces of legislation in the Senate State Affairs Committee. One was aimed at prohibiting local governments from adopting, enforcing, or endorsing a policy that discourages the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The proposed legislation would essentially ban sanctuary cities in Idaho, and any local government that willfully refuses to enforce federal immigration laws may lose its share of the state’s sales tax revenue. The legislation also activates the Idaho Attorney General’s Office to investigate complaints.

The proposed legislation would extend to cities, counties, schools, and health districts..

Additionally he said Idaho doesn’t have a problem like some neighboring states do, but he wants Idaho to be proactive

“Sanctuary cities have been talked about in certain municipalities, and I am trying to head this off at the pass so to speak,” Foreman said.

His second piece of legislation was aimed at protecting Idahoans 2nd Amendment rights.

The proposed legislation prohibits the administrations of public colleges and universities from placing limitations on the possession, carrying, or transporting of concealed weapons or ammunition on campus grounds

Additionally, he said the current status quo creates a “Confusing matrix of gun rules” for licensed gun owners.

“I have been contacted many, many times by students who have concealed carry permits, who have gone through the process, they have no criminal records, and they go, ‘officer why can I not carry my weapon on campus’,” Foreman said.

Both pieces of legislation were approved for printing, and will receive a committee hearing with members of the public.