Gov. Brad Little: Do Not End Emergency Declaration
BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-Gov. Brad Little pleaded with Idaho lawmakers Friday to not end the emergency declaration enacted nearly a year ago to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak at such a pivotal time as the vaccine is being distributed.
Gov. Little took to the airways and social media to make his case to continue the emergency declaration signed in March 2020, accusing some lawmakers of putting Idahoans lives at risk. "Some members of the Idaho Legislature are seeking political gain by perpetuating misinformation about emergency declarations. They are playing politics, and unfortunately the loser in this shameful game will be you – the citizens of Idaho," said Gov. Little, "Members of the Idaho House admit they are not sure of the financial impact of ending the emergency declaration. Why, then, would you move forward with such a damaging move for our citizens, one that will cost Idaho taxpayers tens of millions of dollars? The Idaho Senate has made it clear they understand the importance of continuing to access federal assistance to overcome the crisis. Why, then, are you intent on moving forward with an action that will have the opposite effect?" Gov. Little called on citizens to call their lawmakers and ask them not to end the emergency declaration. He said the state would loose essential federal money coming to the state to deal with the virus.
Steve Millington, regular guest host on News Radio 1310 and chair for the Twin Falls County Republican Party, said the Legislature can put an end to a state of emergency with a "concurrent resolution" in both the House and Senate, which has been presented as HCR001 and SCR101.
Idaho National Guard Gen. Mark Garshak also supported the governor's plea, "At a moment like this, just as the Guard begins distributing and administering the vaccine, it is not the time to stand down," said Gen. Garshak "Canceling Idaho's emergency declaration would do just that. In order for the National Guard to respond to domestic emergencies beyond 72 hours a formal disaster declaration is required by law."
Currently lawmakers are working on draft legislation that would either limit the power of the governor or increase legislative powers.