E-signature bill roils Idaho state legislature, but still passes

Newswire: March 6, 2017.

Dateline: Boise, Idaho.

Idaho’s state legislature this week veered into a theater of the absurd over a bill that would recognize electronic signatures as valid.

The objection came from newly elected legislators who viewed the origin of the bill — it was a model law drafted by the Uniform Law Commission — as potentially eroding Idaho’s sovereignty.

The Uniform Law Commission routinely develops model laws for multiple jurisdictions to pass, on the idea that uniform laws will ease interstate commerce and international relations. Idaho’s bill would recognize electronic signatures and electronic document transfers, but not remote notarization.

Other legislators said the concerns were unfounded, but Rep. Heather Scott, Republican of Blanchard, Idaho, said that lawmakers were “abdicating our responsibilities to a group of lawyers who believe in centralized planning for the entire country and for foreign government.” Another freshman, Rep. Priscilla Giddings, Republican of White Bird, Idaho, objected to a routine motion to skip the reading of the entire bill.

Her colleagues retaliated.

Giddings was forced, by vote, to read the entire 21-page bill in front of the Idaho House of Representatives, whose 70 members were likewise barred from leaving the floor during the reading. It took more than one hour to finish reading the bill. Both chambers of Idaho’s legislature are controlled by Giddings’ party.

The bill then passed 63-7, and now it goes to Idaho’s senate.

Read the full article here.

(Front page image: Kevin Rank/flickr. Used with permission.)

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