Capitol Letters | The Idaho Legislature Report

Capitol Letters newsletter is a daily look at Idaho Legislature’s 2022 session, from highlights and reported stories from the past day’s events to tomorrow’s important votes & hearings. (McClatchy)
·2 min read

By Hayat Norimine, Accountability Editor; Ryan Suppe, State Politics Reporter; and Becca Savransky, Education Reporter

Boise State University questioned again over social justice programs

Rep. Ron Nate, a Rexburg Republican, questioned the Boise State president again about whether the university made cuts to its social justice programming. Last year, lawmakers cut the university’s budget by $1.5 million over fears around “critical race theory” and social justice programs.

Nate pointed to the Department of Sociology’s Anti-Racism Center, which started last year, and asked what the institution had done to reduce its focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

President Marlene Tromp told lawmakers that the university has emphasized that students “have a right to think as they wish to think, that they’re required to learn material, but that they have — as all Americans have — the right to their own opinions and ideas.”

Read Idaho Statesman Education Reporter Becca Savransky’s full report here.

Idaho waives tuition for kids of U.S. military members who were killed — but some don’t qualify

Idaho’s U.S. Armed Forces scholarships provide college tuition waivers for children of U.S. military members killed, permanently disabled or captured in conflict. But the children of the three Idaho National Guard pilots who died last year currently don’t qualify — because the pilots didn’t die in combat.

House Bill 461 would change that, by including children of service members who were killed or permanently disabled during inactive duty training. It’s the first piece of legislation championed by Rep. Chris Mathias, a Boise Democrat and first-time lawmaker. Read State Politics Reporter Ryan Suppe’s full story here.

What else happened?

  • A bill that extends protection for businesses from liability over COVID-19 exposure heads to the House floor for a vote. House Bill 444 was approved by a committee yesterday, according to the Associated Press. Unlike other states with similar immunity laws, Idaho has had no claims filed to seek damages over exposures, the Statesman reported.

Committees to watch today

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