District 9 rep. hosts 2024 session updates

By: 
Philip A. Janquart
 The Idaho State Legislature began its 2024 session on Jan. 8, following Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address.
 Idaho Public Television, through its “Idaho in Session” streaming service, is providing live video coverage of committee meetings and floor debates, with access to Senate and House hearing rooms and chambers. 
 You can access the stream by visiting www.idahoptv.org and clicking on the “Watch” pulldown menu, then choosing Idaho in Session.
 District 9, Seat A, Representative and Weiser resident Jacyn Gallagher is participating in her second session since being elected in November 2022 and has launched “Coffee with your Rep.” 
 Intended as a one-on-one legislative update, the series takes place every Saturday at a different location.
 It’s a rare opportunity for the public to get a first-hand account of how the 2024 session is going and to ask questions.
 The first was held at Dude’s Kitchen in Weiser, with the second held at Agape Coffee House in Payette. 
 “Our first one, we had some couples show up and it went fairly well,” Gallagher told the Signal American.
 The next Coffee with your Rep. is scheduled for Nathan’s Greenleaf Café at 21513 Main St. in Greenleaf on Saturday, Jan. 27. Gallagher is extending the hours she spends with the public by two hours, this coming weekend’s installment running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
 “I really appreciated the opportunity to interact directly, to have a casual conversation between neighbors, and to answer your questions,” she said in a statement. “I would enjoy meeting with you. Stop by, say ‘Hi,’ and ask me anything. I may not have an answer, but I will do my best to find it for you.”
 Gallagher’s in-session phone number is (208) 332-1166. Out of session is (208) 960-0051. You can also email her at jgallagher@house.idaho.gov, visit her at www.jacynforidaho.com, or on her Facebook page.
 Gallagher serves on the Agricultural Affairs, Health and Welfare, and Judiciary, Rules, and Administration committees.
  Following week two of the 2024 session, she said, “[It] is still very early in the session, so bills have not yet started to snowball. 
 We are seeing some new ideas reaching committee, along with some updated bills, which did not make it past previous committees or failed on last session’s floor votes.”
 Of the numerous bills circulating, HB384, or the Children’s School and Library Protection Act, would, if passed, require public schools and community libraries to take reasonable steps in restricting children’s access to obscene or harmful material. 
 “The bill was pulled by its sponsor to be reworked in combination with another sponsor’s bill,” Gallagher stated in an update. “It seems to be a ‘thing’ to combine bills into one, so the House only has one bill per topic to vote on, which means we may only get one option, period.”
 Gallagher is currently sponsoring HB396. 
 The “Health Freedom” bill would prevent the State of Idaho, its political subdivisions, or any state officers from mandating the use of medical face masks, face shields, or other face coverings as a means to prevent or slow the spread of a contagious or infectious disease.
 Gallagher told the Signal American that the bill would not affect private businesses.
 For access to 2024 proposed Senate and House bills and to track their activity and current status, visit https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2024/ and click on “Bill Center.”

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18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
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