Bill Description: House Resolution 3 would amend Idaho House Rules to restyle personal bills as informational bills and exclude them from the process that assigns them to a committee.
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?
House Resolution 3 would amend House Rule 6 to restyle what have historically been known as personal bills (bills that are introduced by a representative outside of the typical committee process) as "informational bills" and stipulate that once an informational bill receives a bill number, it will "be maintained in the office of the Chief Clerk."
House Resolution 3 would amend House Rule 10 to exclude informational bills from the normal process by which the Speaker refers new bills to a committee. These bills would, as a result, effectively be dead on arrival when they reach the Chief Clerk’s office.
Historically, personal bills have been sent to germane committees and, over the last several decades, approximately 11% of them have passed both legislative chambers and become law.
Restyling personal bills as "informational bills" and removing them from the process of assigning them to a committee would significantly reduce the ability of individual legislators to introduce and advance legislation. It would consolidate power in the hands of House leadership and the committee chairs, who are appointed by the Speaker. By stifling discussion and debate on controversial issues, a majority of Idahoans would be denied meaningful representation in the Legislature.