Senator Don Cheatham Newsletter – District 3


Senator Don Cheatham Newsletter – District 3



Dear Friends,


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 where you will find bills, committee recordings, and live stream videos of our House and Senate floor sessions.  I look forward to your involvement.



Don Cheatham



Celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage in Idaho




Last week, the Idaho Legislature joined in celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage. In 1896, Idaho paved the way for women to become the fourth state in the nation to grant women the right to vote. On February 11, 1920, Idaho ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Idaho Historical Society displayed at the Capitol last week a certified copy of the Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women by the Sixty-Sixth Congress of the United States of America and a letter to Governor Davis by the acting Secretary of State. Click here to view the documents.


Idaho Cattle Association at the Capitol rotunda



Idaho Legislators met with the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA) this week at the Capitol rotunda to discuss and support Idaho’s growing beef industry—the second largest agricultural sector in the state. Significantly, five past ICA Presidents now serve in the Idaho Legislature. Governor Little’s brother and sister also served as ICA Presidents. The Idaho Cattle Association is Idaho’s grassroots policy development organization for this important sector of Idaho’s economy and the official voice for the state’s beef industry, including seedstock breeders, commercial operators, and cattle feeders.


The mission of the ICA is to advance and coordinate the economic progress and well-being of the Idaho beef industry. The ICA is a non-profit trade association comprised of more than 1,000 members and represents over 6,000 cattle producing families across the state.  Click here to learn about the ICA


Foster Care Awareness Day











Last week at the Capitol, Governor Little issued a written proclamation stating February 6th as the official day marking Foster Care Awareness Day in Idaho. This effort was led in large part by Senator Abby Lee, who read the proclamation in the rotunda of the Capitol where child welfare advocates from across the state gathered to hold their annual event, sharing personal experiences with the foster care system alongside foster parents and children. The goal of Foster Care Awareness Day is to raise awareness and to help Legislators better understand the needs in the community. Legislators heard presentations on child welfare, perspectives from foster youth, and a discussion from the Idaho Foster Youth Advisory Board.


Idaho Chamber Days at the Legislature



One of the highlights of the year is the Alliance’s annual “Chamber Days at the Legislature” conference held in Boise. Members of the Idaho Chamber Alliance (ICA) visited the Idaho Legislature this week. The ICA was formed in 2006 with the goal of creating a unified voice for chambers of commerce across the state. During each legislative session, members of the Alliance also participate in weekly conference calls with legislators to discuss important legislative issues affecting a variety of Idaho businesses and organizations.


Legislators meet with county officials 














Last Wednesday, Idaho Legislators spoke with members of the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) to learn more about the impact state policies can have on local counties. IAC members were welcomed to the Capitol to listen to committee meetings and floor debates during the legislative day. IAC consists of officials representing each of Idaho’s 44 counties. IAC promotes county interests, advocates good public policy, and provides education to county officials. The association strives to be the most trusted source for county government policy information and is the leading source of knowledge for county officials. Click here to learn more about legislation the IAC is tracking.


2nd most gun-friendly state


According to Guns and Ammo, Idaho holds the number 2 spot for the most gun-friendly state in the nation, right behind Arizona. Click here to read article.


Concealed carry


In 2019 the Idaho Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law House Bill 206, extending the right to concealed carry within city limits to people ages 18 to 20.


School safety


In 2018 House Bill 565 allowed qualified retired law enforcement officers to conceal carry on public school property and college and university grounds.


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.


SCR126: This resolution supports the establishment of a three-branches of government collaboration to develop and implement a statewide strategic plan to improve the behavioral health system in Idaho. SCR 126, carried by Senator Souza, passed the Senate unanimously and is now headed to the House for consideration.


H0356: Amends existing law to provide that operations electing to utilize certain nutrient management planners are consenting to allow such plans to be housed with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture and to provide that certain information shall be exempt from disclosure. Representative Raymond carried this bill in the House that passed unanimously and is now headed to the Senate for consideration.


S1250: The purpose of this legislation is to treat the use of certain electronic devices behind-the-wheel as an infraction. The bill addresses safety concerns associated with a significant portion of distracted driving crashes. The legislation defines enforcement and retains conditions under which electronic device communications would be allowed. This legislation has been printed and is sitting in the Senate Transportation Committee.


S1227: This is one of a series of bills the Supreme Court has recommended in its annual report to the Governor concerning defects or omissions in the laws, as required by article V, section 25 of the Idaho Constitution. The current form of I.C. § 16-1505 sets notice, objection, and hearing time frames at twenty (20) days in adoption cases. In order to reduce confusion to those affected by procedural time frames, the courts strive to establish time periods computed only on seven (7) day increments. Thus, to bring adoption proceedings in line with the courts’ efforts to reduce confusion, the twenty (20) day time frames in I.C. § 16-1505 should be changed to twenty-one (21) days. This bill was passed in the Senate unanimously and sent to the House.


SJM107: This joint memorial recognizes the beneficial trade relationship between the State of Idaho and the Province of Taiwan, and reaffirms Idaho’s commitment to a strong deepening relationship with Taiwan. SJM107 was passed in the Senate and sent to the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee.


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 is sitting in Senate State Affairs Committee.


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 sitting in Senate State Affairs Committee.


H0352: This legislation would increase the grocery tax credit from $120 to $135 per person for individuals age 65 and older and from $100 to $135 per person for all others. The average individual pays approximately $125 per year in sales tax on groceries. This change will essentially offset the sales tax paid on groceries by all Idaho citizens. This legislation is sitting in House Revenue and Taxation Committee.