The Idaho Senate voted to adjourn sine die—effectively ending its 2021 legislative session—on Wednesday. But the Idaho House had different plans, choosing instead to go into recess, which would allow House Speaker Scott Bedke to call the House back into session later in the year without the governor's permission.
On Thursday, the Idaho Attorney General's Office released an opinion on the situation, suggesting that without both chambers agreeing to adjourn sine die, both chambers will likely be considered in recess by default. If the House does not adjourn and reconvenes at a later point, the Attorney General's Office said, the Senate will likely have three days to reconvene as well.
Meanwhile, Gov. Little has pulled the state out of federal unemployment benefit programs, St. Luke’s is administering vaccines to children 12 and up, and Bluebird Village is moving along. Keep reading for that, and more news from Friday, May 14.
• After passionate public comment both for and against the proposed Bluebird Village, the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to advance the 56-unit workforce-housing development to a formal design review--but many hurdles remain for the high-profile project.
• Unemployed Idahoans, as of June 19, will no longer be able to receive federal pandemic unemployment benefits, Gov. Brad Little announced this week. Explaining his decision, Little said some people are opting not to go back to work because they make more money through unemployment benefits than they would as employees.
• As drought conditions persist heading into the summer, Blaine County—along with much of the West—is facing “significant wildland fire potential,” according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
• St. Luke’s Health System has begun administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 12 and up, after federal agencies issued emergency-use authorization this week to do so.
For more local and regional news, pick up a free copy of today’s Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, or visit mtexpress.com at any time.
In light of declining COVID-19 infection rates both locally and statewide, the Express' daily news Roundup will now only include coronavirus statistics once a week on Mondays.