IdahoThis is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.
Ways to ResistEdit
Contact your elected officials:
- Governor, Butch Otter (R)
- Secretary of State, Lawerence Denney (R)
- Speaker of the House, Scott Bedke (R)
There are no recent updates.
To see past updates for Idaho, click here.
Actions Taken by the State GovernmentEdit
Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by Idaho lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:
- H 59 would give Idaho's electoral college votes to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote.
- H 69 would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Harmful bills proposed by Idaho lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
Key Upcoming ElectionsEdit
Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.
Register to vote here. The deadline is 25 days before Election Day by mail. Same-day in-person registration is available on Election Day. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. A photo ID is requested every time you vote.
- Governor's election in 2018; the current Republican governor will be retiring.
- Boise City Council Elections in 2017.
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 84,000 people in Idaho (or 5.1% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 184,000 people (or 11.1% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/26/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state) Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.
- Idaho is among the states that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- If there is a full repeal, then it is projected that in 2021 Idaho will have 316,000 people uninsured, which is a 67.1% increase over the population that would be uninsured in 2021 without a repeal. (Retrieved from Table A1 at )
- 87% of Idahoans currently receive a federal tax credit under the ACA to help pay their premiums for state health insurance. They would lose this coverage in the event of a full repeal.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 11,000 jobs could be lost in Idaho. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- Republican Senator Michael Crapo voted to repeal the ACA.
- Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay strategy, young adults in Idaho could pay $685 more in 2018.
- In 2013, 95,525 immigrants lived in Idaho, 5.9% of the state's population.
- In the same year, 37.6% of immigrants in Idaho were naturalized U.S. citizens, eligible to vote.
- Unauthorized immigrants made up roughly 3.1% of the Idahoan population in 2012.
- From 2006 to 2010, there were 4,051 new immigrant business owners in Idaho. Their businesses took in $192 million in net business income, 4.7% of all net business income in the state.
Rights of Non-CitizensEdit
- As of 2013, 7.2% of Idaho's workforce were immigrants, numbering 55,198 workers.
- Unauthorized immigrants made up roughly 4.6% of the state's workforce in the same year.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Idaho paid $26.7 million in state and local taxes in 2010.
- If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Idaho, Idaho would lose $428.8 million in economic activity, $190.4 million in gross state product, and approximately 3,060 jobs.
- Nearly 1 in 3 of Idaho's undocumented immigrants are farm workers, and they make up 43% of all farm workers in the state. Mass deportation would cause extreme disruptions in Idaho's farm industry.
No cities or counties in Idaho have adopted "sanctuary" policies to restrict or limit the enforcement of ICE detainer orders.
According to State Department data, 320 refugees were resettled in Idaho in 2016.
- Idaho had 11,388 incarcerated individuals in 2014, with 8,039 people in prison and 3,349 in jail.
- 33,062 people were serving probation, while 3,851 individuals were on parole.
- 7.1% of the incarcerated population was serving life sentences, while 1.7% of the population was serving life sentences without parole.
- White, black, and Hispanic imprisonment rates were as follows: 458, 2,160, and 619.
- 1.89% of the Idaho population was disenfranchised due to felony convictions in 2016, while the black Idaho population was disenfranchised a whopping 6.98%.
- Idaho spent $260 million on corrections in 2014.
Benefits / Tax CutsEdit
- Idaho residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:
- Households: 48,000
- Adults and children: 175,000
- Children: 108,000
- In 2015, an average of 83,869 households and 196,872 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in a given month in Idaho. In 2011, approximately 14% of the population of Idaho was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps). The average monthly benefit per Idaho household was $273 per household and $116 per person in 2016.
- In 2016, an average of 2,801 households, including 1,920 families and 2,738 children, received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in a given month. The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in Idaho was $309 in 2014. Average benefits in Idaho have fallen in value by 36.1% since 1996.
- In 2016, an average of 9,331 women received funds from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in a given month.
- In December 2015, there were 1,815 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category receiving an average of $316.25 per person, for a total of $574,000., which averages out to $316.25 per person
- 36,100 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In 2014, Idaho had 27 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of area median income.)
- In Idaho, there were 2,247 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 291 families, 267 veterans, 114 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 337 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- Idaho received $85 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In Idaho, more than 15,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all Idaho households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- Idaho’s infrastructure received a score of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2012.
- This study gave the state “good” scores for wastewater, but identified bridges, transit, and highways as being in “poor” condition.
- In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 20.3% of Idaho’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 45% of Idaho’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.
- Driving on these roads leads to an additional $305 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.
- According to Governor CJ “Butch” Otter (R), hydroelectric resources and water protection are major infrastructure priorities for Idaho.
Women's Rights/Reproductive JusticeEdit
- Idaho has three Planned Parenthood centers.
- In 2015, one center was in a rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage area.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 108,334 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were five abortion providers in Idaho in 2015.
- In 2014, 14 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Idaho had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There is a 24-hour waiting period required after mandatory counseling.
- Parental consent is required for minors.
- Ultrasound requirements exist.
- Medical abortion is limited.
- Private insurance coverage is limited.
- State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
Women and WagesEdit
- In Idaho, 15.7% of women live in poverty. Single mothers make up 43.4%, while women aged 65 and older make up 10.3%. These figures are above/equal to the national averages, which are 36.5% and 10.3%, respectively.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.74, which is six cents below the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.79 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.52 for every dollar made by white men. The national averages, are $0.63 and $0.54, respectively.
Domestic Violence in IdahoEdit
- In 2012, less than 2% of physical intimate partner violence incidents in Idaho were reported to law enforcement. 0% of intimate partner sexual abuse was reported.
- In 2012, the estimated domestic violence rate in Idaho was 19 victims/survivors per 1000 people, totaling approximately 30,000 domestic violence individual victims/survivors.
- 35,270 domestic violence incidents were reported to Idaho law enforcement between 2007 and 2012, almost 1/3 of violent crime reported statewide.
- An arrest is more likely in a domestic violence situation than in other violent situations, violence against an intimate partner was less likely to be charged in court than other violent crimes.
- Idaho courts dismissed 37% of misdemeanor domestic violence charges and almost 31% of felony domestic violence charges.
- Between 2003 and 2012, 69% of domestic violence homicides were committed with firearms.
- The lifetime stalking prevalence in Idaho is 17.5%
Religious Freedom LawEdit
Religious Freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities.  A State Religious Freedom Restoration Act was enacted in Idaho in 2000 for that purpose, but it has been recently used to say the rights of individuals or business owners are violated if they are not allowed to deny service to LGBTQ+ people.
Idaho does not have laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, or credit. It does have nondiscrimination laws for jury selection, but does not have a nondiscrimination policy for state employees. State legislators will have the opportunity to vote on adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the State's nondiscrimination laws in 2017.
Idaho has passed laws on second-parent adoption and de facto parent recognition for same-sex couples. However, it does not protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in surrogacy and foster care, and lacks laws on parental presumption for same-sex couples. Idaho does not have laws on consent to inseminate, either (meaning that in case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is not automatically recognized as parent).
- In June 2017, the State Supreme Court denied custody and visitation rights to a lesbian who raised a child with her former partner. The court held that the State's laws do not recognize her as a parent because the couple were not married.
Hate crime lawsEdit
Idaho does not include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group and does not require reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
Idaho has passed anti-bullying laws covering cyberbullying, but they do not explicitly mention LGBTQ+ youth. It does not have laws promoting transgender inclusion in sports nor laws requiring school suicide prevention policies or protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. The state does not have laws addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness nor promoting inclusive sex education or juvenile justice policies. Idaho does have school laws criminalizing youth, which tend to disproportionately impact LGBTQT+ students. 
Health and SafetyEdit
Idaho does not include LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges and does not ban insurance exclusion for trans health care. It excludes transgender health care from state Medicaid and does not provides inclusive health benefits for trans state employees. Idaho does, however, allow gender marker changes on drivers’ licenses (though not on birth certificates) and collects information on LGBTQ+ health. It has passed laws criminalizing sodomy acts, HIV/AIDS criminalization laws, and laws prohibiting transgender people from receiving appropriate ID.
- HIV criminalization laws are those that make it illegal for an HIV-positive person to “knowingly expose” another person to HIV—in some states, this means that it is illegal not to disclose HIV-positive status to a sex partner, but many laws criminalize behaviors that are unlikely to lead to transmission. Because the laws focus on disclosure, not actual transmission, they serve no real purpose. All states have other, non-HIV-specific laws that can be used to prosecute transmission of HIV, so these laws just needlessly single out and stigmatize HIV-positive people and reinforce the image of them as “dangerous.” It also allows the saliva or blood of an HIV-positive person to be classified in court as a “deadly weapon.” HIV criminalization laws also disproportionately target people of color, mainly African Americans, and gay men.
- Idaho is ranked 49th in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $4,092 per student.
- As of 2013, Idaho ranked 32nd in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $49,734 per year.
- 92% of students in Idaho attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 40% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 6.6% of total public school enrollment.
- Idaho's overall graduation rate is 77%, which is below the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
Consumer Protections/Workers' RightsEdit
- Idaho’s minimum wage is $7.25, which is same as the federal minimum wage but lower than Idaho’s living wage of $9.89.
- Idaho has no state law for paid sick leave.
- Idaho has no state law for paid family leave.
- Idaho has Right-to-Work laws, which means that the state can prohibit unions, that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers, from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. They are designed to reduce unions' income and power.
- Idaho is a state with an at-will exemption. "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.
- Idaho also has a public policy exemption, meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).
- Idaho does allow for implied contract exemptions.. An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements. As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.
- Idaho does support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Courts have interpreted this in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.
Climate / EnvironmentEdit
- Around 80% of Idaho’s electricity generation is hydroelectric. Fossil fuels account for 19%.
- Idaho has six sites on the National Priorities List.
- In 2014, the Black and Asian or Pacific Islander populations had the highest air pollution exposure indices—62 (Black) and 57 (Asian or Pacific Islander)—compared to an overall index of 43 and a White index of 42.
- In 2012, Native American adults were most likely to have asthma (16.2%), compared to 8.8% overall and 8.9% of the White population.
- The relevant environmental agency in Idaho is the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Department of Water Resources.
- On Feb. 8, 2017, the Idaho House Education Committee scrubbed K-12 science standards of all mention of climate change.
- On January 25, 2017, an Idaho Senate panel lowered air quality standards for field burning.
- Idaho is served by EPA Region 10 (Pacific Northwest).
In March 2017, the DEQ was recommended to receive $2.5 million in Clean Air Act Targeted Airshed grant funds to help improve air quality in southeastern Idaho's Cache Valley. The grant awards would be made upon successful completion of the award application process. Targeted Airshed funds would be used to reduce air pollution from wood stoves, road dust, and motor vehicles in the valley. 
As part of EPA’s Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda, announced in October 2016, the agency is providing support for the City of Nampa’s clean water efforts to reduce stormwater pollution through public education and outreach to the largely Hispanic and Latino populations that live around Indian Creek. 
In May 2016, EPA awarded the Friends of the Teton River a $91,000 grant for the Teton County WaterWise Initiative. The Initiative educates students and adults in Teton County, Idaho, on the importance of maintaining clean drinking water as part of a WaterWise community education program. 
- Idaho has the 19th-highest percentage of disabled people in America: 13.8% of Idaho’s residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- Idahoans with disabilities have the 19th-highest employment rate in the country, at 38.3%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. The overall employment rate in Idaho is 58.6%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 15.8% of eligible voters in Idaho have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in Idaho, 26.9% live in poverty, as opposed to 13.6% of non-disabled adults. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 37.8%, as opposed to 20.9% for non-disabled children.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
- In Idaho, 5.1% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%. [2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.
Environmental Justice GroupsEdit
- Idaho Conservation League
- Idaho Environmental Education Association
- Sierra Club, Idaho Chapter
- Wild Idaho Rising Tide