It’s Codi Galloway and I’m here today to talk to you about something important I’m getting a lot of email on. The emergency declaration. I’m getting a lot of emails that are writing me and they’re saying, “We love the Emergency declaration. Please keep it. It’s helping us get our vaccine. We need the emergency declaration.” I’m getting another whole bunch of emails that are saying, “We hate the emergency declaration. Please get rid of it.”

I’m here today to talk to you about what I’m hoping to accomplish that will help you, because I think, oftentimes, you look at this emergency declaration and we think this is the answer to our problem. It’s like flipping a light switch on or off and that’ll solve all of our problems but it’s not that simple. I wish it was because that would be easy but it’s not that simple. I think what most of you are emailing me about is A, you want to be safe and B, you want to be free.

Those are two really important things and I am going to try to show you what legislation I’m creating and working on and working with others to do that allows you to be safe and that allows you to be free and it really has nothing to do with the emergency declaration. We’re going to talk about these four bills and I’ll tell you what they do in your life. The first thing is we have a Bill 16 that’s right here and this talks about the governor’s power to declare an emergency.

Definitely, we want the governor to be able to declare an emergency, things happen fast. Someone needs to be able to act immediately and get stuff done and the governor’s the guy to do it. However, we want to put some limitations on how long that emergency might last before he would want to get other people involved, i.e, the legislature. We also want to guarantee that people always have the opportunity to work that no one can ever be told that they’re not essential or can’t work.

That’s a key that’s going to happen in House Bill 16. The next thing is– There’s one other thing. This concurrent resolution also. The emergencies that are already in the books. It keeps them going and continues those emergencies that are happening. The next thing I want to look at is the Senate 1001. That provides us with some good definitions to help work on emergencies. Right now, we can only deal with emergencies that are happening and pay for them during the emergency.

We want to add the word arising out of and that allows us to pay for and handle emergencies that last, maybe it’s a fire but then we’re still cleaning up the fire two months later. This arise helps us handle that emergency better. The definitions are key. We have to define emergency, we have to define disaster and that’s happening here in this Senate bill that you’ll see coming soon.

The next thing we want to talk about is the money. Money is so important. When we have bad things happen, it takes money to fix them and we want access to those funds right away. We want the governor to be able to write a check. If he’s got to write a check to fix something, that’s definitely in his purview. However, at some point, that bill may get to a number where we want to get other people involved. We’re trying to define that as the legislature.

During COVID, we got a check from the federal for about $1.2 billion. That’s a lot of money, that’s almost about 10% of Idaho’s annual budget. This is a big chunk of change, and probably we should get some more people sitting at the table if we’re going to talk about this kind of money and this kind of response to emergency. Another thing we’re going to talk about, our National Guard, our Federal and State Resources.

We want to be able to use them, to distribute the vaccine to those who want it, and definitely, governors should have that power to mobilize that and make that happen.

However, we don’t ever want, in our emergency declaration, there to be a limit to the constitution. That goes back to this 16 right here. That is going to make sure that you always have the right to worship, you always have the right to assemble, and that no emergency can overcome or supersede those rights that are guaranteed to you in our constitution.

The last thing I want to talk about is House Bill 33, and that’s addressed over here in the health code. Health code is key to making us stay healthy and safe. It helps us with restaurants, it helps us with sewers. 

We definitely want the health code to exist, but we want to have a little bit of oversight by our elected officials in the health code. Let’s say you had a problem with something that maybe there was a mandate or something that you didn’t agree with in the health code, we are writing legislation that allows you to appeal that infraction or that problem to the elected officials that oversee the health board. It puts an elected official here in the role, and they may, or they may not hear the appeal, but it gives us a place where we can have an elected officials close to the people helping make policy on this health code that we’re dealing with in our state.

I talked to you about a lot of different things. These are four bills, and these four bills may change because the Senate does one, the House does one, we flip them, we change them, we fix them, we improve them, together we get a good process. In the end, my goal is that everyone in Idaho feels safe, and every Idahoan maintains their freedoms, and that’s what I’m going to be working on in the couple of weeks, in addition to property taxes, transportation, and education. I look forward to talking to you next time.