BOISE — Conservative lawmakers highlighted their priorities for the 2021 legislative session Monday morning, shortly before Gov. Brad Little delivered his State of the State Address.

The group presented a list of about 25 specific bills or issues it wants to focus on this year.

“It’s a list of items we think are very important for us to do for Idaho families and Idaho businesses this year,” said Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg. Its focus is on lowering taxes, reducing government and restoring freedoms.

The list includes repealing the sales tax on food, protecting First Amendment rights during emergencies, “re-evaluating traditional schools and wasteful spending,” providing greater “accountability and responsibility” in higher education, giving the Legislature the ability to call itself back into session, placing restrictions on facial recognition and artificial intelligence technologies, strengthening self-defense and “stand your ground” statutes, and ensuring that people can’t be forced to take vaccines.

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, said one of her top priorities will be to rescind the governor’s coronavirus emergency declaration.

“I hope we can have a resolution introduced this week to end the emergency immediately,” she said. “That’s what I’m looking forward to most.”

Nate said about 30 legislators are backing the conservative agenda. The supporters include Rep. Brandon Mitchell, R-Moscow; Lewiston Reps. Mike Kingsley and Aaron von Ehlinger; Rep. Charlie Shepherd, R-Riggins; and Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird.

Spence may be contacted at or (208) 791-9168.