The 2021 Idaho Legislative Session began with the ACLU of Idaho joining community partners to call on the Idaho Legislature to ensure safe and equitable participation in the legislative process amidst an ongoing pandemic.
We called on leadership to defer the session or adopt containment measures and clear and equitable guidelines for remote participation. While the legislature did ultimately adopt guidelines for remote participation, the legislature failed to adopt containment measures and were forced to take an unprecedented 18-day recess due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
Due to the lack of containment measures at the statehouse, our calls for community engagement looked a bit different this year. In collaboration with community partners, we hosted a variety of Lobbying 101 Trainings to ensure that community members felt confident to testify and lobby their legislators remotely.
Substantively, there were numerous losses for civil rights and liberties this session. Three anti-choice bills were signed into law. We also saw the Idaho legislature draft and introduce a series of bills attacking Critical Race Theory and weaponizing the education budget to chill conversations about systemic sexism and racism in Idaho schools. Idaho also passed SB 1110, a bill that significantly compromises Idahoans’ ability to exercise their initiative and referendum rights guaranteed by the Idaho Constitution.
While there were many losses at the statehouse this session, there were a few notable victories as well. The Wrongful Conviction Compensation Act was signed into law with unanimous support from the House and Senate. The Act will provide critically important compensation to those who were wrongfully imprisoned by the state. The ACLU of Idaho also claimed victory in preserving ballot access this session. We fought against legislation that would have imposed felony liability on any person who assists a non-family member in casting their ballot. We also successfully fought legislation that would have imposed stricter voter ID and same-day voter registration requirements– legislation that would have fallen most heavily on indigenous, elderly, houseless, and disabled voters.
The issues noted above just scratch the surface. We invite you to read on to learn more about our 2021 legislative work– and don’t forget to review our scorecard so you can track how your elected officials voted on civil rights and liberty issues.
What is the Legislative Report Card?
The ACLU of Idaho Legislative Report Card documents the voting patterns of your Idaho representatives over the 2021 Legislative Session. At a glance, you’ll see how your legislators voted on policies impacting social justice, equity, and civil rights.
The votes presented in the Legislative Report Card are those considered by the full House or full Senate. You will notice that this year, some bills received votes from the full House, but did not get out of committee to be voted on by the full Senate. This is why there are less bills listed on the Senate Report card. Please also note that committee votes are not indicated in the report card.
Why the Report Card is Created:
The report card is a crucial accountability tool. We encourage you to use this scorecard to give your elected officials feedback on their votes during the 2021 Legislative Session. Direct communication with your elected officials is a valuable way to encourage them to stand up for freedom and protect our constitutional rights.
View, download and print the full 2021 Legislative Report below.