With Idaho’s 2016 legislative session only a week away, issues like education are expected to be big topics– but so are social issues.
However, Sen. Roy Lacey says social issues are hard to settle in the statehouse because there isn’t enough support for them.
With the legalization of same-sex marriage on a federal level this past summer, LGBT rights will likely make an appearance this session. Especially since legislation to add the words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s human rights act didn’t pan out.
Also because the state’s constitution still only recognizes marriage between a man and woman to be valid.
Lacey said part of it is because of the mentality of legislators.
“There’s a lot of legislators that say, ‘Let ’em grab themselves by the bootstraps and pick themselves up. We did when we were young,’ and that kind of thing,” he said.
Another big talker in Idaho is Medicaid expansion, since it’s one of 17 states that still hasn’t expanded coverage.
Lacey feels if “it’s a federal thing or it’s an Obama thing, the hairs on (legislators’) necks stand up and say we will not do it. With social issues, it’s a very difficult thing to get across.”
Lacey said other big issues in this coming legislative session will be real ID compliance. Water as well, depending on how the weather is the next few months.
Be sure to tune into live coverage of the opening days of the new session starting next Monday on KIDK Eyewitness News and KIFI Local News 8.