Idaho Legislative Update: sex ed, AG budget killed

The dome of the Idaho Statehouse looms over the snowcovered foothills in Idaho's capitol city of Boise in this undated photo. (AP Photo/Troy Maben).

BOISE, Idaho (AP) —


Lawmakers in the Idaho House have passed legislation that would require parents to opt in their kids to some sex education lessons in school. The bill, sponsored by Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Barbara Ehardt, passed 56-12 on a party-line vote Friday, and now goes to the Senate.

If enacted, it would change the existing state law, which allows parents to opt out if they don’t want their child getting sex education lessons in school. Instead, parents who want their child to take part would have to give written permission two weeks before any lesson or reading assignment that involves human sexuality.


The Idaho House has killed the Idaho Attorney General’s budget for the upcoming year, a move that will force the Legislature’s budget-setting committee to create a new budget for the office.

The 40-29 vote Friday appeared to be latest move in a series of attempts by some lawmakers to limit the power of Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. Wasden’s opponents have also pushed legislation that would allow state agencies to bypass the attorney general’s office in favor of hiring private lawyers.

The Idaho Constitution requires the Legislature to stay in session until it passes a balanced state budget — which includes having a budget for the Attorney General’s office.


An Idaho House panel has approved legislation making it more difficult to get initiatives or referendums on ballots in what is seen as a rural vs. urban issue.

The House State Affairs Committee sent the measure to the House. It’s already passed the state Senate. Republican Gov. Brad Little vetoed similar legislation in 2019 and hasn’t said if he would sign the measure if it reaches his desk.

Backers say the current process favors urban voters. Opponents say the measure would make it nearly impossible to get an initiative on the ballot. The proposed law would require the signatures of 6% of registered voters in all 35 Idaho districts.

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1 Comment

  • Barnabus March 9, 2021 at 2:39 pm Reply

    I love Idaho. They are a staunch pro life state, but yet they do what ever they can to quash sex education. Here is a novel idea, how about more sex education so we have fewer unwanted pregnancies. That would rationally lead to fewer abortions. We could then move on and talk about economic issues of raising a family. The food insecurity of children is just over 16% here in the Cache Valley and SE Idaho. Want to fix this, educate the kids and let them make informed decisions. Yet, we can’t talk about such evil stuff and we even need to have a Zion curtain to prevent our children from falling victim to sin in restraunts. So, much of this could be solved by just educating and talking to our children.

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