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The Idaho House Ethics Committee meets on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.

The House Ethics Committee has voted unanimously to censure Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, for conduct unbecoming a member of the Idaho House of Representatives, and to recommend that she lose her seat on the House Commerce & Human Resources Committee. The motion and unanimous vote followed extremely strong condemnations of Giddings’ actions from every member of the committee. I’ll have additional posts on that shortly.

Giddings, a third-term state representative, serves on the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee and the Agricultural Affairs Committee as well as Commerce. House Ethics Chairman Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, said the Commerce assignment was targeted because of the "nexus" between Giddings' behavior on a personnel matter -- the publicizing of the identity of a young House intern who accused another lawmaker of rape -- and the personnel issues addressed by that committee.

The Ethics Committee's decision is a recommendation to the full House. Dixon said normally, the recommendation would go to next year's Legislature if it came up during the summer interim, but because this year, the House never adjourned, instead just recessing, it's technically still in session. That means the House would have to reconvene before Dec. 31 to take action on the committee's recommendation, or, he said, it expires at the end of the year.

Giddings never appeared at today's hearing, just as she skipped large portions of yesterday's near-all-day hearing, including all the testimony from her fellow legislators about why they signed on to the ethics complaints against her.  

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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