March 2023 Updates from the Idaho Statehouse

Source: Ryan McGoldrick, March 2nd, 2023

At this point last month, the session has been relatively quiet on CleanTech. That quickly changed over the past month. Here are the CleanTech bills we are following right now:

H24 would create the Idaho Launch Grant Program, which would provide graduating Idaho students with $8,500 grants to pursue in-demand careers. This would be critical for the workforce needs of the quickly growing CleanTech industries in Idaho. After narrowly passing the House 36-34, it is waiting for a hearing in Senate Commerce and Human Resources. If this grant would support your organization’s needs, you can contact the committee here to share. We expect more close votes. 

H189, H190, and H191 all are intended to ban Idaho businesses and financial institutions from participating in ESG, even when those businesses are following federal requirements. Regardless of your opinion of ESG, these are flawed bills that will create significant new red tape and bureaucracy and could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. After passing the House, these are headed to the Senate.

H96 changes the Idaho Energy Resources Act from funding renewable energy projects to funding clean energy projects, slightly altering the types of projects that can be funded. It passed the House nearly unanimously. 

H185 and S1065 would adjust the taxes that electric trucks and electric vehicles respectively would pay. Neither bill has received a full hearing in committee yet, likely because the state is considering a study to look at the issue. 
H106 would preempt cities and counties from banning certain utility connections. This is a response to Eugene, OR banning natural gas connections in new builds. Currently, no Idaho community has suggested or shown any signs of any similar policy.