LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: New and improved library bill introduced | New podcast episode on school pronoun policies

LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: New and improved library bill introduced | New podcast episode on school pronoun policies

1. Idaho House approves new and improved Children’s School and Library Protection Act  

Is the third time really the charm? We sure hope so. 

On Monday, Rep. Jaron Crane (R-Nampa), Speaker Mike Moyle (R-Star), and Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Meridian) reintroduced an updated version of the Children’s School and Library Protection Act, which largely utilizes model language drafted by Idaho Family Policy Center.

House Bill 710 ditches the unconstitutional language and cumbersome review process that characterized Senate Bill 1289, which died on the Senate floor last month.

Under the new bill, parents would have legal remedies when a public school or community library fails to take reasonable steps to relocate obscene materials to an adults-only section within a thirty days of receiving a written request.

In a good sign for library reformers, House Bill 710 passed off the House floor with a 47-23 vote.

We’re grateful that state legislators are taking another swing at this documented problem—and we’re hopeful that the Senate committee will move quickly to approve it. Stay tuned.


2. Idaho House approves bill to ban commercial ads for illegal marijuana

Have you been fired up by the weed dispensary advertisements near our state borders with Oregon and Washington? Well, our state legislature is finally addressing it. 

House Bill 613, which would ban commercial advertising of illegal marijuana in the state of Idaho, was approved by the House this week. 

Marijuana, which is illegal under federal law but has been legalized in neighboring states, is frequently advertised near our state borders.

Our policy assistant, Grace Howat, testified on the bill saying:

One of the first concerns of state government is promoting the safety, welfare, and sobriety of its citizens.

It’s important to recognize, then, that advertisements which promote unlawful activity also pose a threat to the rule of law and public morality alike.

Not only do these advertisements undermine the legal and moral norms established by society through the legislative process, but they also foster criminal behavior as well as the social problems that inevitably follow.

The bill has now been sent to the Senate State Affairs Committee, where it may face opposition—so keep your eyes peeled for an action alert soon!


3. Idaho Senate Committee advances legislation that would restrict AI-generated child porn

After a month of waiting for a Senate Committee hearing, House Bill 465 finally got the green light of committee approval, and will soon receive a vote on the Senate floor.

The bill amends the criminal child pornography law to include artificial intelligence-generated sexual depictions of real children. 

Our policy assistant, Grace Howat, testified before the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee, explaining with this legislation is needed:

Although all pornography causes real and measurable harm to individuals, families, and communities, our society has historically recognized child pornography as qualitatively different from most other types of pornography. 

Unfortunately, new technologies are making child pornography even more accessible and frightening. With the rise of artificial intelligence, our society is seeing a concerning influx of so-called pornographic ‘deepfakes’—computer-generated content that portray real children engaged in pornographic content.

IFPC has been involved with House Bill 465 since the beginning—and we were the only policy organization testify in favor of the bill during the Senate committee hearing!


4. Bill protecting religious rights of counselors moves one step closer to becoming law

According to statewide public opinion polling commissioned by Idaho Family Policy Center, more than 56% of likely Idaho voters agree that counselors and other mental health providers should not face legal or professional consequences for providing talk therapy intended to help patients overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

Senate Bill 1352 would protect counselors who refuse to affirm same-sex attraction or gender confusion because of their sincerely held beliefs.

This week, our policy assistant, Grace Howat, testified before the House Health and Welfare Committee on the legislation saying:

Around the country, the so-called “tolerant” left is actively compelling ideological conformity when it comes to affirming ascendant political and moral positions, especially on issues related to sexuality and gender. 

Unfortunately, counselors and therapists have become particularly vulnerable to these types of attacks. But the fact remains: No one should ever be coerced into providing counseling services that violate their sincerely held moral or religious beliefs.

We’ll keep advocating for this one as it moves through the legislative process!


5. Our podcast has relaunched and our first episode with Representative Ted Hill is a must-listen!

First and foremost, if you’re not subscribed to the Idaho Family Report podcast, what are you doing?! 

We relaunched our podcast this week—and on our first episode back, Idaho Representative Ted Hill joined us to talk about his bill House Bill 538, which would protect teachers from facing legal or professional consequences for using biologically accurate pronouns when referring to students.

Listen to the episode to hear why Rep. Hill brought this bill forward, why we need to care, and why the school boards are fighting so hard against it.

Subscribe today so you don’t miss an episode!


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