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House Bill 602 — Taxpayer funds, teachers unions

House Bill 602 — Taxpayer funds, teachers unions

Parrish Miller
February 26, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 602 would generally prohibit the use of public funds or resources on behalf of teachers unions. 

Rating: +3

Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

House Bill 602 would amend Section 74-402, Idaho Code, to say that "it is in the public interest to … ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to support teachers unions."

House Bill 602 would create Section 74-408, Idaho Code, which says, "No public official in a position of authority over a professional employee may use, or authorize the use of, taxpayer funds to promote teachers unions." It would also provide the list of ways that taxpayer funds could not be used for this purpose, including "increasing a professional employee's compensation with the intent that the additional compensation, or a part of it, be used to pay teachers union or affiliate dues, fees, assessments, fines, or contributions."

House Bill 602 would amend Section 33-1275, Idaho Code, to say that "no agreement, by any name or title, entered into pursuant to the provisions of this act or otherwise may require or permit a school district, including chartered districts, to use taxpayer funding to promote a teachers union or its affiliate in a manner prohibited by section 74-408, Idaho Code. Any provision of any agreement in violation of this subsection is null and void, contrary to public policy, and of no legal effect."


House Bill 602 would amend Section 33-513, Idaho Code, to remove the provision that allows teachers to be paid for the time they spend "attending regularly scheduled official meetings of the state teachers association."

One of the prohibitions contained in Section 74-408, Idaho Code, would prohibit (with certain exceptions) using taxpayer funds to provide "any form of compensation or paid leave to a professional employee, directly or indirectly, for time spent engaged in teachers union activities."


Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?

Among the actions prohibited by Section 74-408, Idaho Code, which would be created by House Bill 602, is spending taxpayer funds on a variety of practices that show favoritism or special deference to teachers unions.

Some examples include: 

"Providing more personal or contact information of a professional employee to a teachers union or its affiliate than the public official is required to disclose pursuant to chapter 1, title 74, Idaho Code."

"Requiring or coercing a professional employee to meet, communicate, listen to, or otherwise interact with a teachers union or its affiliate."

"Distributing communications or membership solicitations on behalf of a teachers union or its affiliate."

"Permitting a teachers union or its affiliate access to a school district's meetings, events, or facilities, or use of its communications systems, computer systems, equipment, supplies, or other resources on terms more favorable than extended to any other teachers union or corporation organized or existing under chapter 30, title 30, Idaho Code, or an equivalent provision of the law of another state, seeking such access or use."

"Contributing public funds to, or expending public funds on behalf of, a teachers union or its affiliate."

It is appropriate to prohibit using taxpayer funds for the exclusive benefit of a labor union. 


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