An Idaho Senate panel has advanced a proposal changing the state's process for special congressional elections.

To date, Idaho has never held an election when an Idaho member of Congress leaves office mid-term. Unlike if a U.S. senator leaves office, a House member replacement requires scheduling a special election rather than the governor appointing a replacement. That special election would allow anyone to run for the seat regardless of political party.

Rep. Tom Loertscher, a Republican from Iona, says that it's time to update the law - which has been in place since 1899. His bill would create require a primary election and general election if a House vacancy occurs.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Senate State Affairs Committee approved sending HB 197 to the Senate floor on Monday.