This week the 2021 Idaho Legislative Session convened. The City of Boise is tracking two pieces of legislation– House Concurrent Resolution 1 (HCR 1) and Senate Concurrent Resolution 101 (SCR 101). Both resolutions have potential implications for Boiseans.
If passed, HCR 1 and SCR 101 will terminate Governor Brad Little’s COVID-19 Emergency Health Order, which provides protocols for residents and businesses to protect our communities from the virus.
Terminating the order could jeopardize the funding assistance local agencies receive from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is currently being used to offset unbudgeted expenses in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Boise has relied on FEMA funding during the pandemic to pay our frontline workers, including the Boise Fire Department. Funding has also been used to provide a safe, warm place for residents experiencing homelessness. The newly announced vaccine distribution assistance through FEMA could also be adversely impacted as it could take away funding available to local governments to ensure timely distribution of vaccines.
If passed, both resolutions will have unintended consequences, mainly how local government agencies can respond to a broad range of emergencies beyond public health pandemics, as well as endanger critical funding to respond to resident needs.
You can find updates on both resolutions by following the links below: