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House Bill 256

House Bill 256

Phil Haunschild
March 8, 2017

Bill Description: This bill would create a new administrator position and a new Invasive Species Policy Council.

Rating: +2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government? 

This bill would establish an Invasive Species Policy Council working from the Governor’s office. The council’s administrator would act as a policy advisor to state departments, prioritize council actions and establish policy reciprocity across state and local lines. The administrator would make recommendations to and streamline regulations and collect public data for the Invasive Species Council. This bill would give government numerous new responsibilities. (-1)

This bill would also require the director of the Department of Agriculture to develop a long-term invasive species strategy, provide education and training, develop and administer early response protocol. This would expand the director’s scope of action and, by extension, the role of the Department of Agriculture. (-1)

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? 

Current statute says the agriculture director may enter any public or private property to control or eradicate invasive species. This bill affords private property owners the right to object to a search, requiring the government to first obtain a search warrant. (+1)

Furthermore, the bill restricts searches to the exterior of conveyances rather than interior and exterior searches currently allowed under state statute. (+1)

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability? 

This bill would give “the owners and operators of any affected property or facilities” a say in how invasive species are managed. “If an invasive species occurs and cannot be adequately controlled” the department would have the authority, but would not be required, to enlist these owners in eradicating these species. (+1)

Does it violate the principles of federalism by increasing federal authority, yielding to federal blandishments, or incorporating changeable federal laws into Idaho statutes or rules? Examples include citing federal code without noting as it is written on a certain date, using state resources to enforce federal law, and refusing to support and uphold the Tenth Amendment. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the principles of federalism? 

This bill would maximize cooperative agreements between states, the federal government, other entities and the state of Idaho. “In order to minimize the financial impact of control and eradication costs to the state, the director shall actively pursue partnerships with the federal government and take advantage of any associated federal funds available to Idaho (Idaho Code 22-1912).” In doing so, the legislation specifically says, “such grants shall be specifically related to the invasive species eradication objectives of this chapter, and receipt of which shall not obligate the state beyond the invasive species eradication objectives of this chapter, or impede or preempt other state duties and powers.” This will insure Idaho maintains sovereignty over its own territory. (+1)

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