2020 Legislative Update: Week Nine

Abortion

Senate Bill 1249, an act to create a specialty “Choose Life” license plate which includes the image of a man holding an infant, was signed into law by Governor Little this week. This bill was sponsored by Senator Bayer and Representative Crane and had previously passed both chambers on the floor. When an individual is purchasing a license plate they will now have the option of the Choose Life license plate. If selected, some of the cost of the plate would be donated to the non-profit 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 recently introduced House Bill 525. This bill prohibits public money from being given to any individual, organization or facility who provides abortions (except in instances that federal law mandates the funding). The House passed this bill on the floor on March 3rd.

Senate Bill 1385, sponsored by Senator Lakey, was also introduced into the Senate this week. This legislation would make abortion illegal in Idaho if/when the Supreme Court decision of Roe versus Wade is overturned. There would be an exception for abortions in the cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. This is called a “trigger” bill because it would go into effect only when triggered by a reversal of Roe versus Wade. This bill was sent to the Senate State Affairs Committee. 

Family Matters

Representative Vander Woude introduced House Bill 519 recently which was replaced by a second version of the same legislation this week, House Bill 578 (also known as Simon’s Law). 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. It was passed on the House floor this week on March 5th. 

House Bill 522, introduced by Representative Young, requires that database companies that contract with schools to provide online education materials for minors would be prohibited from including obscene and sexually explicit materials in those databases. This bill passed out of the Senate Education Committee on the 6th, previously having passed the House floor. 

House Bill 455 by Representative Scott, regarding Child Protective Service reporting, failed in the House this week. This bill would have removed the misdemeanor penalty for individuals who suspect circumstances of child abuse and do not report it. Currently, Idaho has a mandatory reporting law for child abuse, which means everyone is required to report suspected neglect and abuse and if a report is not made a misdemeanor is charged against the individual who didn’t report. 

House Bill 406, by Representatives Troy and Giddings, passed in the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee and the Senate floor this week (sponsored by Senator Lee). This bill adds and increases penalties for crimes relating to female child genital mutilation. This bill adds to the prohibition of female child genital mutilation which was passed by the Idaho legislature last year. 

This week a second bill regarding sex changes on a birth certificate, Senate Bill 1387, was introduced by Senator Martin. This bill requires minors to get a professional’s note (psychiatrist, doctor, etc) attesting the circumstances that require a need for the change of the sex marker on the birth certificate before the Department of Health and Welfare would be allowed to process the application for the change to be made. This bill was sent to the Senate State Affairs Committee. 

Other Important Legislation

House Bill 515, sponsored by Representative Monks and Senator Anthon, would add 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 out of the Senate State Affairs Committee this week after previously passing the House Floor. 

Senator Lakey introduced a pro-second amendment piece of legislation this week, Senate Bill 1384. This bill would allow employees of a school district to conceal carry a gun on school property. S1384 was sent to the Senate State Affairs Committee. 

Senate Bill 1400 was introduced and sent to the Senate Finance Committee. This bill would provide two million dollars of funding for the state to prepare for the threat of the coronavirus, at the Governor’s request. 

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.