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Idaho Legislature vote to shut down temporarily amid positive cases

by Associated Press
| March 19, 2021 10:59 AM

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

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

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

Four of those who tested positive are Republicans and one is Democrat. Another Republican lawmaker is self-isolating. The chamber has a super-majority of 58 Republicans, most of whom rarely or never wear masks. All the Democratic lawmakers typically wear masks.

The three lawmakers who tested positive this week, two Republicans and one Democrat, had all been participating in debates on the House floor.

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