State Constitutional Amendment
Speaker of the House Scott Bedke and other legislators have sponsored a resolution that would permanently set the number of legislative districts in Idaho at 35. Currently, the Idaho Constitution allows between 30-35 districts and for the last 30 years, there have been 35 districts. This resolution passed the Senate State Affairs Committee this week (it has already been approved by the House) and is awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. It will need a two-thirds vote on the Senate floor to proceed to the next step of being presented to Idahoans on the ballot.
Senate Bill 1249, an act to create a specialty “Choose Life” license plate, passed the House Floor this week and is headed to the Governor’s desk. This bill was sponsored by Senator Bayer. When an individual is purchasing a license plate this bill would add the option of the Choose Life license plate, which includes an image of a man holding an infant, and some of the cost of the plate would be donated to the non-profit organization Choose Life Idaho and the Pregnancy Centers they support.
As a forward step in the movement to end abortions in Idaho, Representatives Zollinger and Zito introduced House Bill 525 earlier this session. This bill prohibits public money from being given to any individual or organization who provides abortions (except in instances that existing federal law mandates the funding). This bill passed out of the House State Affairs Committee on Friday.
Defend the Family
House Bill 509, also known as The Idaho Vital Statistics Act, was recently introduced by Representative Young and passed on the House Floor this week. This legislation prohibits the changing of information on a birth certificate. This includes the sex that is listed, which under current law can be amended to match a person’s gender identity.
Representative Vander Woude introduced House Bill 519 earlier this session, also known as Simon’s Law, and it was passed in the House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday. This bill protects and reinforces parental rights in health care by requiring that a doctor who orders to end life-sustaining treatment to a child must notify parents of this intent 48 hours before the order is fulfilled.
House Bill 522, introduced by Representative Young, requires that companies who contract with schools to provide online education materials for minors be prohibited from including obscene and other harmful materials as a part of that contract. This bill was passed this week in the House Education Committee and also on the House floor.
House Bill 455 by Representative Scott changes mandatory reporting to Child Protective Services. Currently, anyone who suspects child abuse and does not report to CPS is guilty of a misdemeanor. This bill originally sought to narrow that mandatory reporting to only professionals that work with children but was amended this week to keep the mandatory reporting for everyone, but only apply the misdemeanor charge to professionals who do not report.
House Bill 465, introduced by Representative Zito, would prohibit a minor from receiving hormone treatments and genital mutilation surgeries for the purpose of re-affirming their gender identity. This bill received a hearing where public testimony was given for 4 hours, but Chairman Chaney is not allowing the committee to vote on this bill.
House Bill 406, by Representatives Troy and Giddings, was sent to Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee on Monday, after passing the House Floor. This bill adds and increases penalties for crimes relating to female child genital mutilation.
House Bill 500, by Representative Ehardt, prohibits boys and men who are taking measures to transition to the opposite sex from playing on girls and women’s sports teams in Idaho. This bill was passed on the House floor this week.
Commerce and Tax
House Bill 515, by Representative Monks, adds regulations and restrictions to medical debt collection agencies. It requires that these debt collectors send notices of billing at certain times, and establishes “reasonable fees” and expenses for debt collecting services. This bill passed the House floor this week after hours of debate and was sent to the Senate State Affairs committee.
Senate Bill 1308, sponsored by Senator Martin, would have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. This would have aligned Idaho with new federal law endorsed by President Trump. This legislation came up on the Senate floor for a vote this week but did not receive enough votes to advance further.
After reading this, do you have any questions? If so, we encourage you to use our “Contact Your Representative” Tool to send an email to your representative with any questions, concerns, or even to express your appreciation.
We hope you will join us in the watchful care of the privileges we enjoy as citizens of this great state and nation.
Lindsey Zea is a Policy and Research Associate with the Madison Liberty Institute. Lindsey holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from BYU-Idaho and loves finding applications of history to current events and political debates. She also serves as a Policy Analyst with the Better Cities Project (BCP) and formerly interned with the Libertas Institute in Utah.