Idaho Senator Don Cheatham Newsletter – District 3
Below are some recent activities and highlights taking place in the Idaho Capitol. I hope you enjoy the information. For more details, you can log onto legislature.idaho.gov where you will find bills, committee recordings, and live stream videos of our House and Senate floor sessions. I look forward to your involvement.
Leadership Idaho Agriculture
Last Tuesday, Leadership Idaho Agriculture (LIA) met with Legislators in Boise to share their mission to educate and equip Idaho leaders in the agricultural industry, highlighting this year’s Class 40 graduates. LIA is the only leadership organization in Idaho that works to cultivate leaders in agriculture—one of the Gem State’s largest and most important industries. Leadership Idaho Agriculture was founded in 1985 and offers classes to enhance leadership skills and increase knowledge of agriculture in Idaho. Upon graduation, LIA students will join the ranks of over 1,000 alumni who have made an impact for Idaho agriculture locally, regionally, and nationally. Click here to learn more about Leadership Idaho Agriculture.
House and Senate Page Programs
The Legislative Page Program is an opportunity for 40 high school seniors, between the ages of 17 and 19, to get a hands-on, action-packed, paid experience in Idaho’s legislative process each year. Idaho’s Legislative Session is at the Capitol and convenes in early January until sine die, also known as the end of session, near the end of March. For Idaho Pages, each session is divided into two sections, lasting approximately six weeks.
To enter this competitive program, students must meet the application requirements and adhere to a strictly enforced dress code that includes the traditional blue or red sweater vest provided by the House and Senate. This paid program requires several responsibilities, which include maintaining Senate/House bill books and journal binders, delivering messages, running errands, making copies, and assisting Legislators and staff in offices and committee meetings. During the six-week program, class assignments and studies are the sole responsibility of the student. In addition, arrangements and expenses for housing and transportation are the responsibility of the student and their parents.
Do you know of a potential candidate for the Page Program?
The deadline for applications is November 15th, however, students are encouraged to apply early and applications are accepted in September and reviewed in early December. Accepted applicants will be notified by mail. Click here for more information on the Senate Page Program. Click here for more information on the House Page Program.
Idaho Caregiver Alliance at the Capitol
On Wednesday, the Idaho Caregiver Alliance (ICA) held a luncheon for Legislators on the first floor of the Capitol rotunda. The mission of ICA is to advance the well-being of family caregivers by promoting collaboration that improves access to quality support and resources.
Dr. Sarah Toevs, Director at the Center for the Study of Aging at Boise State University, gave a presentation to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, sharing the vision, mission, and values of the ICA. There are 200,000 to 300,000 Idahoans who provide unpaid care and support for family members and friends each year. The ICA provides a spectrum of support for anyone caring for family members or friends who have Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injuries, disabilities related to military service or other special needs. Click here for more information on the Idaho Caregiver Alliance.
Boys & Girls Club
Last Thursday, Idaho Legislators gathered to celebrate the Boys & Girls Club of Idaho’s Youth of the Year award. Five Idaho youth were selected to receive scholarships and were nominated to compete for the title of Idaho Youth of the Year. Nominees were Logan Fossler, Naomi Fraley, Steve Biondolillo, Sariah Standlee, and Davin White. They each gave speeches, sharing their powerful life experiences and demonstrating how they’ve become positive role models and incredible young people.
Davin White, from the Mountain Home Air Force Base Youth Program, was nominated as Idaho’s Military Youth of the Year. The Idaho Youth of the Year title was awarded to Sariah Standlee, who received a $5,000 scholarship to continue her post-secondary education. Sariah will compete at the national level for the Youth of the Year award.
What is hemp?
Hemp, often called “industrial hemp”, is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant species and is from the same family of plants as marijuana. Touted as the strongest natural fiber in the world, hemp is used to make a number of products, including clothing, biofuels, building materials, and paper. Senate Bill 1345, which would legalize industrial hemp, passed the Senate 27 – 5 – 3 on February 26th.
Industrial hemp versus marijuana
Idaho law currently draws no distinction between industrial hemp and marijuana. One of the main differences between the two is the level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in the plant. THC is the mind-altering chemical compound for which marijuana is known. Industrial hemp contains 0.3 percent THC or less, and marijuana is grown to contain more than 0.3 percent THC. In states where both hemp and marijuana are legal, each species must be grown geographically apart to prevent cross-pollination.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. In 2018, the FDA approved a CBD oral solution known as Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. CBD oil products are sold over the counter with claims they effectively treat a wide variety of health issues, including anxiety, insomnia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Federal Farm Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. While the majority of states allow hemp to be grown, the Farm Bill permits Idaho to ban production of the crop. A license is required for states to legally grow hemp. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is regulated through a collaborative effort in each state through law enforcement, the Governor’s office, and the Department of Agriculture.
Legislation at a glance
The following legislation may be of interest to you. Click here to stay updated on the complete list of bills, resolutions, proclamations, and memorials.
S1314 (Distracted Driving): The purpose of this legislation is to treat the use of certain electronic devices behind-the-wheel as an infraction. This bill addresses safety concerns associated with a significant portion of distracted driving crashes. This legislation defines enforcement and retains conditions under which electronic device communications would be allowed. The bill passed the Senate on February 25th by a vote of 30 – 5 – 0.
S1308: This legislation will bring Idaho Statute into compliance with federal regulation (Title 21 Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act), which was signed into law by President Donald Trump in December 2019, changing the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years old to 21 years old. The legislation received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate State Affairs Committee and is waiting to be heard on the Senate floor.
SJR103: This joint resolution proposes an amendment to Section 17, Article I of the Idaho Constitution. The amendment would expressly authorize law enforcement officers to make warrantless misdemeanor arrests based upon probable cause when the offense in question is not committed in the officer’s presence. SJR103 is in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
H0310: Idaho Code 56-1004A, Criminal History and Background Checks, charges the Department of Health & Welfare with conducting background checks on individuals who provide care or services to vulnerable adults or children. This bill passed the House, received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and is on the Senate Third Reading Calendar.
H0345: This legislation amends Section 49-1806 by adding language to disallow booting a car for the sole basis of an expired or improper vehicle registration. This bill has passed the House, received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate Transportation Committee on February 20, 2020, and is waiting to be heard on the Senate floor.
S1325: The purpose of this legislation is to provide a way for local school districts to “grow their own teachers.” Many rural districts are struggling to find and keep teachers. This legislation establishes programs under which non certified employees may seek certification while employed by the district. First, it allows a district to use professional development money to assist an employee teaching under a provisional certification in becoming certified. Second, it allows funds from the opportunity scholarship program to apply to non certified employees from a school district or public charter school who are seeking to become certified. This bill passed the Senate by 24 – 11 – 0 on February 24th and now resides with the House Education Committee.
S1297: Amends Idaho Code by adding a new Section 49-420R to be designated as the “Too Great For Hate” specialty license plate. This bill passed the Senate by 28 – 7 – 0 on February 24th and is headed to the House Transportation Defense Committee for consideration.
H0326: Consistent with the Red Tape Reduction Act, this bill seeks to eliminate obsolete and unnecessary restrictions. Specifically, this would repeal the definition of Veterans listed in Section 65-502(17), Idaho Code, which conflicts with the definition of Veteran defined in Section 65-203, Idaho Code. Specifically, this will remove the more restrictive 180 service day requirement defined in Section 65-502(17), Idaho Code, which conflicts with the 90 service day requirement listed in Section 65-203, Idaho Code. This bill passed the House, received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate State Affairs Committee, and is on the Senate Third Reading Calendar.
H0480: Idaho has several School Districts that offer dual immersion language programs. This legislation recognizes students who have become proficient in English and one or more additional world language by creating a “Seal of Biliteracy” that may be attached to their graduation diploma. This bill passed the House and is in the Senate Education Committee for consideration.
H0500 (Transgender Women in Sports): This bill will ensure that opportunities continue for girls and women competing in athletics. Boys and men will not be allowed to participate on girls’ or women’s teams, as defined by their inherent differences that are physiological, chromosomal, and hormonal. This bill passed the House by 52 – 17 – 1 on February 26th and is now in the Senate State Affairs Committee.
H0528 (Unlawful Killing of Wildlife): This bill amends Section 36-1401, Idaho Code, to make clear that it is a felony to unlawfully kill, possess, or waste wildlife within a twelve-month period, whose single or combined statutory reimbursement value is greater than $1,000. On February 7, 2020, the Idaho Court of Appeals issued a decision in the case of State v. Huckabay, which changed the longstanding application of Section 36-1401(c)(3) to the unlawful killing, possession or waste of a single bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, trophy deer, trophy elk, or trophy pronghorn, which each has a reimbursement value under Section 36-1404, Idaho Code, of greater than $1,000. This bill is on the Second Reading Calendar in the House.
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