More and more bills are making their way to the floor in this past week of legislation. Floor sessions are starting to run longer, and some of the discussions are getting more intense. I am grateful that we start each floor session with a prayer and inspirational thought.
Amongst the rising tide of bills appearing on the floor, I will share a few that caught my interest this week. HB264 proposes to codify best practices in Idaho for gestational carrier contracts, more commonly referred to as surrogacy. There are currently no statutes covering this practice. The bill should improve and protect this wonderful alternative method for families to grow in Idaho.
On Friday, I sponsored and presented for introduction house bill 267 in the House Education committee.
This bill will expand capacity and sustainability for 7-12th grade Career Technical Education programs, with priority given to our rural school districts. I am excited by the prospects of this bill and look forward to it receiving a full hearing this coming week.
House Bill 213 will establish a program intended to incentivize nurses to seek employment in Idaho’s rural communities. It is a program that will last for 5 years and will provide financial incentive for up to 100 nurses over the course of that time period to begin employment in underserved areas of the state. There was good discussion on the floor, with opponents concerned that it only incentivized nurses with student debt. I was happy to support it, though, as it is narrowly focused, simple to administer, and does have the 5-year sunset.
Thanks to hard work by interested citizens, Senator Harris, and other stakeholders, this coming week will see a hearing on Senate Bill 1112, which will capture in statute Idaho’s intent to preserve and protect Bear Lake and the wonderful uses it provides to communities in Idaho.
Another excellent bill brought by a freshman Representative is House Bill 202, which will have school districts display the National Motto conspicuously in their facilities. The bill aims to have those displays donated via private funding, and has reasonable requirements to make sure the display is respectful and usable.
And finally, I am glad to see students in Ucon elementary involved in the legislative process, as they push to have the Oryctodromeus declared the state dinosaur. This is Senate Bill 1127, and I will be interested to watch it work through the process.
Thanks to all those citizens of district 35 who work to provide respectful feedback throughout the legislative process. Sometimes you may not even realize or know what a difference that feedback made, as bills can stop so many different times along the way, or be pushed onward by a well-timed communication from a concerned Idahoan.
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