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Idaho lawmakers resume special session to deal with virus

| August 26, 2020 9:48 AM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho lawmakers meeting in a special session resumed work Wednesday on bills dealing with the coronavirus pandemic following two chaotic days culminating with the arrest of anti-government activist Ammon Bundy.

The House of Representatives quickly approved legislation to smooth the counting of what is expected to be a surge of absentee ballots for the November election. That bill has already been approved by the Senate and now heads to Republican Gov. Brad Little.

Lawmakers are also looking at legislation intended to shield schools, businesses and government entities from lawsuits from people who get COVID-19.

Bundy, who led the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and his supporters oppose that legislation. He refused to leave a committee meeting room on Tuesday and was taken into custody. He is charged with trespassing, and restricting and obstructing officers. Two others were also arrested and charged with trespassing.

The incident followed another on Monday when angry protesters forced their way into the Idaho House gallery that had limited seating because of the coronavirus pandemic, the window of a glass door getting shattered as protesters jostled with police. There were no arrests in that incident.