- Kelsey Hawes
The 2016 Idaho Legislature heads into its ninth week on Monday, March 14, but already more than a few lawmakers have an eye on the door since leadership has indicated the House and Senate could adjourn sine die as early as Friday, March 25.
One of the more controversial issues of this session is expected to surface Monday morning before the Senate State Affairs Committee as legislators consider Senate Bill 1389, which would expand permitless concealed carry freedoms for Idaho gun owners.
Currently, Idaho law allows permitless concealed carry outside of city limits, but SB 1389 would align city and county laws with the state's. Supporters say the bill still doesn't go far enough, arguing it only allows Idahoans over the age of 21 to to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.
Meanwhile, demonstrators are also expected at the Statehouse on Monday, where they'll urge lawmakers to take up the issue of Idaho's minimum wage. To date, the legislature has yet to consider a proposed measure that would unshackle the Gem State's $7.25 per hour minimum wage from the federal level, even going in the total opposite direction by passing House Bill 463, which preempts cities and counties from setting their own minimum wage levels regardless of the state level. HB 463 passed through the House and Senate, and it now awaits a signature from Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter.