Sep. 21—An interim legislative committee meets in Boise this week to take public comment on President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate.
The 10-member Committee on Federalism, which was created two years ago to review federal actions that may impinge on Idaho's state sovereignty, plans to spend all day Wednesday considering the topic.
The meeting was scheduled after Idaho officials threatened legal action to block the president's Sept. 9 executive order, which requires private sector workers at firms with more than 100 employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly.
The mandate also applies to federal contractors, as well as to most federal employees and to health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding.
Local legislators on the committee include Sens. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston; Carl Crabtree, R-Grangeville; and David Nelson, D-Moscow.
Wednesday's meeting begins at 8 a.m. PDT and is scheduled to conclude at 4 p.m. The agenda includes presentations by Jon Jukuri with the National Conference of State Legislatures regarding the federal rules process, as well as legal analyses of Biden's mandate by Brian Kane, chief deputy in the Idaho Attorney General's Office, and Boise attorney Christ Troupis.
April Renfro, Audit Division manager with the Legislative Services Office, will also discuss the fiscal impact of losing federal Medicare/Medicaid funding.
Public comment periods are scheduled from 9-11 a.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. until the meeting adjourns. Comments will be limited to three minutes. Those wishing to testify remotely can register online at bit.ly/3nSkwW0 and click on the "Testimony Registration" link.
The meeting will be streamed live online at idahoptv.org/shows/idahoinsession/Legislature.
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