Little condemns Legislature’s efforts to end COVID-19 emergency order
Jacob Scholl, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – Idaho Gov. Brad Little went on the attack Friday over the Legislature’s moves to end the state’s emergency declaration order, saying the Gem State’s response to the coronavirus would be greatly hindered and calling the actions “harmful.”
In a Friday update, Little outlined how the emergency declaration has helped Idaho maintain economic success during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are so close to returning to normal,” Little said. “But that success is threatened by the actions taking place in the Legislature.”
The governor condemned the effort to end the declaration, saying it would put Idahoans at risk. He called on legislators — some of whom, he said, are “perpetuating” myths and misinformation about the pandemic — to stop acting as if the emergency order closes the state or infringes upon personal rights.
He said legislators were “playing politics” while putting the state’s response to the ongoing crisis in jeopardy.
Two bills — one in the House and another in the Senate — seek to end the emergency declaration order first signed by Little on March 13. In the Senate bill, it is noted that the resolution would not impact emergency funds being diverted to Idaho. However, a state without an emergency order in place may not be eligible to receive such emergency funds.
Little added that removing the emergency declaration order may interfere with the state’s efforts in rolling out coronavirus vaccines, and he urged Idahoans to contact legislators to tell them not to proceed.
Major Gen. Michael Garshak, adjutant general of the Idaho National Guard, echoed these sentiments. He said that eliminating the emergency declaration order would hinder the Guard’s efforts in responding to the coronavirus outbreak.