Mar 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Idaho Legislature COVID outbreak forces lawmakers to take a recess

The Idaho Senate is empty
The Idaho Senate. Photo: The Idaho Legislature

The Idaho Legislature has shut down for two weeks after at least 10 members and staff tested positive for COVID-19, CNN reported Saturday.

Why it matters: The recess comes as House and Senate lawmakers are due to debate major issues, like "setting budgets and pushing through a huge income tax cut," per AP.

Details: The legislature voted Friday to shut down until April 6 in order to get the outbreak in the House and Senate under control.

For the record: Five Republicans and one Democrat tested positive for the virus, according to AP — which notes that most in the GOP-majority chamber rarely or never wear masks, unlike all of the Democrats who typically wear face coverings.

What they're saying: Republican Sen. Majority Leader Kelly Anthon said, "We will use this time productively for the Idaho people so that when we come back together on April 6, we will be ready to work quickly."

  • Democratic House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett in a joint statement they're "disappointed in how bad things have become at the Capitol, when we could’ve prevented this from becoming a hot spot."
  • "We are just so sorry it took so many people getting sick for us to act," they added. "We must do better when we return, or else we’ll keep finding ourselves in this position."
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