Bill Description: House Bill 171 would reduce the term of office of school district trustees from four years to two years and require them to declare their party affiliation or unaffiliated status.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency, accountability, or election integrity? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency, accountability, or election integrity?
House Bill 171 would amend Section 33-501, Idaho Code, to reduce the term of office of school district trustees from four years to two years.
It would amend Section 33-503, Idaho Code, to clarify how this policy would be implemented for those trustees currently serving four-year terms, saying, "at the general election held November 5, 2024, and thereafter, school district trustees shall be elected to two (2) year terms. Trustees elected prior to November 5, 2024, shall serve out the remainder of the term for which they were elected."
By reducing the term of office and having trustees stand for election every two years in even-numbered years, House Bill 171 would increase the visibility of these elections and put them on the same schedule as legislative elections. This would increase the accountability of trustees to the voters.
House Bill 171 would also amend Section 33-502, Idaho Code, to require candidates for the office of school district trustee to declare "the political party with which the candidate is affiliated or the candidate's unaffiliated status."
Requiring candidates to disclose their political affiliation increases transparency.