As the COVID pandemic and Governor Little’s overreaction have persisted for 5 months now, citizens are voicing a need for the legislature to be involved. They want to address Governor Little’s “emergency” orders. It finally appears the Governor is willing to involve the legislature in these crucial life-or-death and prosper-or-perish decisions.
Not so fast! Instead, legislators will be limited to only the subjects the Governor wants them to consider. The Governor has signaled an extraordinary session will only be held to mitigate the governor’s and others’ liability for the “emergency” declared and extended since March.
Let’s be honest, the Governor’s emergency orders are damaging our private sector (referred to as “non-essential” by Governor Little), as well as farming and ranching operations, and our families, and every Idahoan – whether it be employment, education, or health (mental and physical). There are costs to being too cautious and real pain is being inflicted across the state.
It is easy to see from what the Governor is saying, the legislative session is not intended to alleviate the costs of the shutdown on families and the economy. It is obviously a “cover your assets” ploy by Governor Little and his cronies. He wants to avoid liability for the damage he is causing in Idaho.
Several questions around Governor Little’s emergency orders and his immunity protection should be addressed in a session, but will they?:
- Does the Governor’s response to “emergencies” generally follow established guidelines?
- Did the Governor and government officials push the limits and overreach their lawful boundaries?
- What funding is involved? (Always follow the money)
- Should the Governor, other government officials, local governments, and businesses be liable for damages they cause?
Here is one alarming example from his proposal raising some questions:
“The immunity provided in this section shall not apply if a person fails to make a good faith effort to comply with a statute, rule, or lawful order of a government entity in effect at the time and such failure is the proximate cause of injury to another, nor shall it apply to acts or omissions that occur during a declared disaster or emergency that are unrelated to or unaffected by the declared disaster or emergency.”
Who determines if a “good faith” effort has been made? Who determines if the act or omission is unrelated or unaffected by the emergency?
We have recently experienced the heavy hand of the Idaho public health districts and the unelected bureaucrats using Idaho Code 39-419 to threaten individuals with a misdemeanor and/or imprisonment for failure to wear a mask in public or follow orders. Are we really willing to accept government edicts and mandates forced upon us by these unelected bureaucrats… bureaucrats that think themselves sovereign and unaccountable to WE THE PEOPLE?
Could failure to follow future edicts lead, for example, to cutting off power, water, or services to those people and businesses who do not comply? Will businesses be forced to require a COVID-19 vaccine for employees as a condition of employment? Could a “lawful order” include some type of restriction on firearms ownership?
The government argues their actions are only being carried out in the name of safety, to “protect us,” and for the “greater good” of society. But is it? Let us not forget:
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
How much control are we willing to accept in exchange for security? Law is supposed to begin with WE THE PEOPLE. “Emergencies” will always be used to assert power and control over those who allow it. We cannot… we must not stand idly by and just do nothing. Now is the time to act! Any special legislative session should include ALL these important questions, instead of only “cover your assets” protections for the Governor and his cronies.
So, what can YOU do?
First, you can start by spreading the word about the “special session” on August 24, 2020. Second, you should contact your state senator and representatives. Ask them if they support the Governor’s immunity plea deal with the state legislature – and why or why not. However, if you are concerned like I am, insist they VOTE NO. Third, if you have time, you might also want to voice your concerns to House and Senate leadership – House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill.
The future of Idaho depends to a great degree on what WE THE PEOPLE do now. Do we push back on the control Governor Little has forcefully taken this year? Do we allow Little and his cronies to “cover their assets” and continue down this path of domination and power? Or, do we stand up and say enough already, and RESTORE BALANCE between the government and WE THE PEOPLE?
“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams