Idaho governor calls special session due to pandemic

Thursday, August 20, 2020

BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday called the part-time Legislature back into a special session due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Republican governor in a news release said the special session will start Monday.

He said lawmakers will consider election law changes as well as establishing temporary civil liability standards related to the pandemic.

Lawmakers have been calling for a special session to address those two issues.

Election officials have said polling places for the November election could be limited due to a lack of volunteers afraid of getting the virus and some facilities declining to be polling places. That has led to suggestions of polling centers with expanded voting times as well as using National Guard soldiers at polling places.

Election officials have also sought changes in the absentee ballot system to make vote counting more efficient due to possibly much larger numbers of absentee ballots.

Some lawmakers also said that a liability shield law is needed to protect government, schools and private businesses from frivolous lawsuits. Lawmakers said that if someone gets the virus at a school or workplace, they could file a lawsuit.

But others say such a liability shield would remove responsibility from businesses and schools.