The Idaho Legislative Session has been ongoing for more than two months now and numerous bills have been introduced. Listed below are a few of the proposed bills and where they stand as of March 5.

House Bill No. 15: This bill would edit Idaho Code section 63-3622AA, to make it clear that purchasing copies under a public records request is exempt from sales tax whether a fee is set or not.

“This is taxpayer friendly and promotes transparent government,” the statement of purpose states.

The bill was signed by Governor Brad Little of Feb. 8 and shall go in effect July 1.

House Bill No. 131: This bill will amend the law defining the requirements of storage and destruction of Media Recording “records,” such as CCTV, body cam, and dash cam video and/or audio recordings by the municipality and the police department.

This bill amends the law that currently requires all records, not specifically defined to be stored for 2 years. This bill clarifies the storage durations of media recording. This bill aligns the municipality requirements to match the county requirements found in 31-871 of the Idaho Code specifically, as it relates to evidentiary value

“A city with 100 cameras, in order to meet the current law requirements, would be required to pay an extra 165 thousand dollars or $1,600.00 per camera. This is all in storage hardware only. The estimated life span of a camera is 10 years, therefore $160.00 more per year would be needed for just the hardware per camera. With other factors like overhead maintenance system failures and network expenses, this increases to an extra $234.00 per camera per year,” the statement of purpose states.

On Feb. 21 the bill was printed and referred to local government.

House Bill No. 150: This bill would allow school boards to address time-sensitive or emergent circumstances that fall under an Executive Session category-such as personnel matters or disciplinary issues-on a simple majority vote in the event of two vacancies.

“School boards face unexpected multiple resignations or election recalls that leave them unable to enter into executive session,” the statement of purpose states.

On March 4 the bill was referred to “Education.”

House Bill No. 160: This law would amend the state code to clarify that an emergency is not required to make a sole-source purchase as long as the local government entity meets the other requirements for a sole-source purchase. The bill was sponsored by District 35A Representative Jerald Raymond.

“However, since the relevant code is in the same section as other requirements for emergency purchases, it gives the mistaken impression that an emergency must be declared by a governing board or council before a sole-source purchase can be made,” the statement of purpose states.

On Feb. 25 the bill was filed for its first reading.

House Bill No. 161: This bill would allow local governmental entities, under limited circumstances to post legal notices online rather than paying private media companies to print them in newspapers. Current law requires entities to pay for legal notices of all pending requests for proposals. This bill would allow governmental entities another option from those legal notice requirements for purchases of information-technology goods or services. The bill was sponsored by District 35A Representative Jerald Raymond.

“The current system increases costs for the taxpayers, is needlessly burdensome to local governments, creates unnecessary hurdles for private-sector vendors and lacks transparency for citizens. Publishing these notices online would make them more widely available to the public and to the vendor community,” the statement of purpose states. “This bill also increases transparency by keeping the notices online rather than having them disappear after the print publication.”

On March 5 the bill was held in committee.

House Bill No. 166: This bill would have eliminated the current requirement that a notice be published in print two to five times. It also would have required all public notices to be published online.

According to Nathan Brown’s article Public notice change on hold for the year published in the Post Register, The House State Affairs Committee voted unanimously March 5, at the request of sponsor Rep. Britt Raybould, R-Rexburg, to hold the bill in committee. Raybould said she wants to give the affected parties more time to discuss the issue later this year and come back with a new proposal in 2020.

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