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Idaho Politics

Idaho Legislature shuts down due to COVID-19 outbreak

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - UPDATE: The Idaho Legislature has voted to shut down for several weeks due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate made the unprecedented move on Friday with significant unfinished business, including setting budgets and pushing through a huge income tax cut.

At least five of the 70 House members have tested positive for the illness in the last week, and there are fears a highly contagious variant of COVID-19 is in the Statehouse.

Three of the infected lawmakers had participated in debates on the House floor this week.

Two senators contracted COVID-19 but have recovered and returned to the 35-member Senate.


ORIGINAL: The Idaho Legislature will consider shutting down for several weeks due to an outbreak of COVID-19, a top Republican said Friday.

Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle said that the House will vote on recessing until April 6 when it convenes Friday morning.

At least five of the 70 House members have contracted the illness in the last week, and there are fears a highly contagious variant of COVID-19 is in the Statehouse.

"The House has had several positive tests, so it is probably prudent that the House take a step back for a couple weeks until things calm down and it's not hot around here for COVID," he said.

He said the House was waiting to see how the 35-member Senate reacted. Two senators contracted COVID-19 but have recovered and returned to the Senate.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Kelly Anthon said the Senate hadn't decided how it would react.

"The Senate has not yet been able to caucus to meet to discuss this," Anthon said. "We would want to be courteous to our colleagues in the House of Representatives. This is what's playing out this morning."

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Associated Press

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