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Idaho House speaker fears Legislature shutdown amid COVID-19


BOISE (AP) — The top member in the Idaho House on Wednesday said he’s concerned the Legislature might have to shut down if House members continue getting sick with COVID-19.

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke said he’s asked House members to take precautions so that the Legislature can remain in session and wrap up business by March 26.

“Of course I’m concerned,” said Bedke, who wasn’t wearing a face-covering but put one on before getting in an elevator in the Statehouse. “We’re re-emphasizing the safety protocols. We also want to be done by the end of the month. I guess we’ll just see how it goes.”

Three House members are currently out with COVID-19. All are Republicans who tend to rarely wear masks. Rep. Bruce Skaug went out last week, and Rep. Lance Clow and Rep. Ryan Kerby went out this week.

Two Republican senators, Steve Bair and Van Burtenshaw, have each been out with COVID-19 but are back in the Senate.

The Legislature has significant unfinished business, including approving budgets, a bill with a large tax cut, and multiple pieces of legislation aimed at limiting a governor’s powers during an emergency declaration.

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