2023 Small Business Victories from the Idaho Legislature

Date: July 06, 2023

Defeating two, heavy-handed environmental proposals highlight accomplishments of the session

The 2023 session of the Idaho Legislature opened for business January 9 and adjourned April 6. In partnership with other associations, or by going it alone, NFIB was able to accomplish some big victories for small business.

Won Unemployment Insurance Safeguards

House Bill 168 added to existing law to establish procedures to verify the integrity of the Employment Security Program by requiring the state Dept. of Labor to perform routine cross checks of existing databases, including new hire records, death records, prison roles, etc. Signed by Gov. Brad Little

Secured Curbs on Pharmacy Benefit Managers

House Bill 215 amends existing law to provide for enforcement of provisions related to pharmacy benefit managers to provide for a level playing field for independent pharmacies, and House Bill 291 implements the Fair Pharmacy Audits Act to provide for much needed transparency. Both measures were signed by the governor. NFIB Idaho worked in partnership with the Idaho State Pharmacy Association on this victory.

Pre-empted Two Heavy-Handed Environmental Measures

With the passage of House Bills 287 and 106, NFIB and its coalition partners succeeded in pre-empting a mandate requiring EV chargers be installed in all new construction while passing another measure prohibiting local governments from restricting certain types of utility connections. Both measures were signed by the governor.

Stopped Minimum Wage Increases

Idaho law prohibits a higher minimum wage than the federal government’s. House Bill 48 would not only have repealed that but also given local governments the green light to set their own minimum-wage rates. In concert with other groups, NFIB succeeded in preventing HB 48 from getting a single hearing.

Helped win Greater Judicial Balance

NFIB helped push Senate Bill 1148 to passage, which amends existing law to change the membership of the judicial council to provide greater transparency. Signed by the governor.

Obtained Check on Bank and Credit Union Activities

With NFIB’s support, the Legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill 190 into law, requiring banks and credit unions holding state funds not boycott certain industries.

Advanced Credit Card Swipe Fee Legislation 

Although Senate Bill 1066 did not pass, thanks in part to NFIB’s unrelenting advocacy, the issue received its first public hearings in years, which sets it up for possible passage next session. The measure calls for excluding the state sales tax portion of an electronic transaction (credit/debit cards) from the entire fee. Lobbying with Idaho retailers, the hospitality industry, restaurants and grocers, NFIB succeeded in bringing the issue to light. 

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