Idaho House tries again to limit governor’s emergency powers

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2020, file photo, Idaho Gov. Brad Little gestures during a press conference at the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho. (Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP, File)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Three pieces of legislation intended to curb the authority of an Idaho governor during declared emergencies have passed the House and a Senate committee.

Lawmakers on Tuesday approved the measures that are watered-down versions of previous legislation Republican Gov. Brad Little vetoed. The bills are intended to limit an Idaho governor’s ability to alter laws, prevent gatherings and limit people from going to work during emergencies.

Lawmakers are angry at actions Little took last year at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that included a temporary stay-at-home order as COVID-19 patients threatened to overwhelm hospitals.

The latest bills, unlike earlier versions, do not insert the Legislature into the decision-making process during declared emergencies.

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