I introduced 3 bills this week in the Idaho House. HB 466 is a bipartisan bill that I am co-sponsoring with Rep. John Rusche D- Lewiston, to create an office of the Inspector General. It would provide a place for citizens and government employees to report waste, fraud, abuse and malfeasance in government, and tools to investigate such complaints. While I am not a fan of growing government, it is good government to provide a check on government bureaucracy and give citizens and employees a secure place to report concerns.
Second, I introduced HB 462 to amend our breathtakingly broad hunting license law. Currently, the law states “No person shall hunt, trap, or fish for or take any wild animal, bird or fish of this state, without first having procured a license as hereinafter provided.” Taken literally, this applies to catching a mouse, gopher or other unprotected animal or predator. Curiously, there is an exception allowing children under 12 to hunt, take or kill any predatory, unprotected birds and animals except by firearms. The bill would expand that exemption to anyone, and still require a license for hunting with firearms. It would not change any current classifications or definitions of game, predators or protected species.
Finally, I introduced HB 494 to reduce first offense alcohol violations by minors from misdemeanors to infractions. It will save public defense costs and spare kids from being marked as criminals on future job applications if they don’t repeat, while still making underage drinking illegal.