Mark Harris

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BOISE, IDAHO — The Idaho Senate and House voted to sine die this afternoon. The two chambers came together to address the strong opposition to President Biden’s executive orders which seek to mandate COVID vaccines in both the public and private sectors. Serious concerns around medical privacy issues also arose and need to be addressed.

“The thoughtful debate we had as a caucus is reflective of the disagreement that exists amongst our citizens. We had productive discussions and will continue working on the path forward. While not everyone agrees, we come together from a place of mutual respect and are committed to continuing the hard work to get it done,” stated Senator Jim Rice.

“The Senate Majority Caucus’ primary concern is to craft legislation of the highest caliber and to represent faithfully our duties to our constituents,” shared Majority Caucus Chair, Senator Mark Harris. He added that “many pieces of legislation were introduced, and while the concepts had merit, further review is necessary to ensure they would withstand scrutiny and possible legal challenge, as well as to ensure they are properly housed within Idaho code.”

“I think that there were a lot of ideas from all sides that came together with rich discussion from both our legislators and the public,” said Senator Peter Riggs. “They focused on supporting individuals and businesses and the diverse approaches demonstrate the complexity of finding a resolution.” Riggs continued, “we are a deliberative body, and as important as it is for us to bring solutions to the people of Idaho, it is even more important that we make sure those are the right solutions.”

“We greatly appreciate Idaho’s employers and the challenges they are facing. We acknowledge the accommodations many are making to keep hardworking Idahoans employed and encourage all businesses to work together with their employees to find solutions to protect workplace safety and their employees’ personal health decisions,” implored Senator Jeff Agenbroad. “We know business thrives when government involvement is limited.”

The matter is working through Courts and on November 12, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay, blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) from enforcing its Emergency Temporary Standard.

“The Senate Majority Caucus recognizes that issues of government intrusion into the lives of Idaho’s citizens can be difficult to address. We appreciate the hard work of our Senators, our colleagues in the House, and our Governor, and their willingness to come to the Statehouse to tackle the issues at hand,” shared Harris.

The House and Senate are set to reconvene on January 10, 2022.

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