On July 1, numerous bills passed by the Idaho legislature in 2019 took effect including several pieces of legislation championed by Democrats. The following bills, spearheaded by Democrats, were signed into law during the legislative session and will take effect July 1:
First Responder: Representative Mat Erpelding/(D-Boise) led the effort to pass the First Responder bill. The new law will allow first responders to get workers compensation for treatment for psychological trauma. Legislative co-sponsors include Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking/(D-Boise), Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb/(D-Boise), Sen. Michelle Stennett/(D-Ketchum), Rep. Jake Ellis/(D-Boise), Rep. Ilana Rubel/(D-Boise), and Rep. Brooke Green/(D-Boise).
Pet-Friendly License Plate:
Representative Melissa Wintrow/(D-Boise) teamed up with former Representative Hy Kloc to pass legislation that creates a pet-friendly license plate. The sales from the plate will fund low-cost spay and neutering.
Test All: Rep. Wintrow also spearheaded legislation that requires that all sexual assault kits be tested. From now on, there will only be extremely rare exceptions to testing. Legislative co-sponsors include Sen. Grant Burgoyne/(D-Boise), Sen. Mark Nye/(D-Pocatello), Rep. Muffy Davis/(D-Hailey), and Rep. John McCrostie/(D-Boise).
Solar Panels: Rep. Rubel passed legislation that stops Homeowners Associations from unreasonably restricting the use of solar panels. A homeowner will now have the right to choose solar energy for their home. Sen. Burgoyne carried the legislation on the Senate floor.
Wage Theft: Rep. Erpelding passed legislation that gives workers the ability to claim stolen wages for a year after it was unpaid. This will make it easier for workers to get the money they have earned.
Historic Theaters: Rep. Erpelding also spearheaded legislation that will allow theaters to sell beer and wine. This will help to revitalize many small communities that rely on the theater for entertainment. Legislative co-sponsors include Sen. Nelson/(D-Moscow), Rep. Wintrow, and Rep. Sally Toone/(D-Gooding).
Legend Drug Donation: Rep. Sue Chew/(D-Boise) passed a bill that allows Idahoans to donate their unused prescription medications. The bill does not include opioids. The bill was sponsored on the Senate floor by Sen. Maryanne Jordan/(D-Boise).
Appropriations: Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking sponsored several budget bills including the appropriations for K-12 education, the Hispanic Commission, and the Art Commission.
Naxolone: Sen. David Nelson sponsored a bill that allows for easier access to opioid overdose antidotes. The drugs can be quickly administered to someone having an opioid overdose to save their life. Rep. Jake Ellis helped to pass the legislation.
E-Bike: Sen. David Nelson led the effort to pass a bill that clarifies the definition of e-bikes. This clarification in Idaho code will allow for cities, counties, and the state to better regulate their use.
Move Over: Rep. John McCrostie sponsored a bill that requires motorists to slow down and move over for tow truck drivers and highway incident response. The law will help to save the lives of hardworking Idahoans who work on our busiest roads.
“Idaho Democrats fought tooth and nail to pass meaningful legislation this year.” Sen. Buckner-Webb explained. “We did our research, consulted with stakeholders, and showed up on the floor to make sure that we could make a difference for Idahoans.”
“It’s important to take the opportunity to recognize the successes of the session. Unfortunately, so much of the great work that we did this year was overshadowed by the horrible legislation that the Majority attempted to pass.” Rep. Erpelding said.