Idaho Legislative Update: Plastic Grocery Bag Bans and Porn Filters

Friends,

Things are finally starting to pick up at the Statehouse. The most newsworthy accomplishment of the legislative session thus far? Gov. Brad Little signing legislation to cut income taxes and provide tax rebates to Idaho families.

 

Bills We’re Watching

• Conversion Therapy Ban (HB483): This legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. John McCrostie (D-Garden City) and Sen. Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise), would outlaw Christian counseling for children struggling with gender dysphoria or same-sex attraction. If you haven’t already, please click here to send a message right now asking the House Health and Welfare Committee to oppose this radical bill.

• Parental Rights Protection of Minors Act (SB1261): This bill would attempt to tackle the epidemic of porn use among children and teenagers by requiring cell phone manufacturers to automatically include adult filters that can be deactivated by parents. It is sponsored by Sen. Kevin Cook (R-Idaho Falls) and Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt (R-Eagle).

• Mask Mandate Ban (HB514): This is the second year that Rep. Karey Hanks (R-St. Anthony) has introduced legislation to forbid the state and its political subdivisions, including cities and school districts, from requiring the usage of masks or face shields to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

 

Personal Bills Galore

One unique feature of our state legislative process is the ability of legislators to introduce so-called “personal bills” outside of the normal committee introduction process. Even though these personal bills stand little chance of getting considered by a committee or receiving floor debate, they offer legislators an opportunity to publicize their policy proposals that would otherwise not see the light of day.

Democrats make copious use of this pathway to propose legislation that wouldn’t make any progress in legislative committees.

Among the personal bills introduced by Democratic legislators this year is a measure to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 per hour, which is sponsored by Sen. Grant Burgoyne (D-Boise). Another example is legislation from Rep. Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) that would allow cities to ban single-use plastic grocery bags and restaurant take-out containers.

And we can’t forget the perennial “Add the Words” legislation, sponsored by Rep. John McCrostie (D-Garden City), which would devastate religious freedom for churches, religious charities, and business owners by adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes in state antidiscrimination law.

On the other side of aisle, Rep. Ron Nate (R-Rexburg) has introduced a personal bill to repeal the grocery sales tax. He has also teamed up with Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard) to propose legislation that would criminalize abortion from conception without exceptions for rape and incest. The bill, which is called the Idaho Human Rights Act, provides for the prosecution of women who procure an unlawful abortion if they refuse to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the abortionist.

 

More Announcements Coming Soon

More legislation — including bills to protect preborn children from abortion, save children from dangerous cross-sex hormones and irreversible sex reassignment surgeries, and safeguard the privacy and safety of girls in public school bathrooms and locker rooms — is forthcoming. Please keep praying for this legislative session and for our state legislators (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

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