Sanctuary city ban bill reintroduced in House committee

Posted at 10:34 AM, Feb 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-20 19:21:33-05

Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, reintroduced his bill to prevent sanctuary cities from forming in Idaho to the House State Affairs Committee on Monday. 

Chaney's original legislation, introduced on Jan. 30, would cut off state sales tax funding for "sanctuary cities". The new version of the bill would cut 50 percent of a city or county's designated portion of sales tax. The new bill also no longer requires police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they arrest for a misdemeanor or felony charge.

"The purpose of this bill is to keep locals and counties from protesting in a way that would be counterproductive in a solution and a conversation of immigration reform as a whole at the national level," Chaney said. "This is to prohibit the use of immigration policy and the sanctuary city sort of ordinance from being used as the means by which localities protest the Trump administration." 

Rep. Paulette Jordan, D-Plummer, voted against introducing Chaney's legislation. 

"I think, again, this bill is entirely unnecessary and seeks to rile folks and divide communities," Jordan said. 

Jordan questioned the need for the bill during the hearing. There are currently no sanctuary cities in Idaho.

"I believe, as this room indicates, the level of attention to this issue is at an all time high, and there's a great deal of discomfort to any changes to even a broken system," Chaney said. "If there was ever a time where a Boise or a Sandpoint or a Coeur d'Alene or a Pocatello were to undertake this sort of an action... it would be now, when anxieties are at the highest."

The bill will now receive a full committee hearing.