LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: Bill Targets State Vaccine Registry | Progress on Domestic Terrorism and Fentanyl Legislation

LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: Bill Targets State Vaccine Registry | Progress on Domestic Terrorism and Fentanyl Legislation

1. Domestic terrorism bill is currently on hold in House committee

The domestic terrorism bill – which is sponsored by Rep. Doug Pickett (R-Oakley) and Sen. Kelly Anthon (R-Burley) – received a public hearing in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee earlier this week.

Our legislative liaison, Julie Lynde, was there to provide the last testimony in support of the bill. As she told the committee:

Senate Bill 1220 protects religious liberty and parental rights by clearly defining the crime of domestic terrorism… The word ‘terrorism’ has been seared in our hearts since 9/11. It’s a big word, and it means something—and we must not dilute it.

But in recent years, the ‘domestic terrorism’ label has been weaponized against traditional Catholics, pro-life activists, and concerned parents at school board meetings.

Chairman Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa) adjourned the meeting before taking a vote, but promised that the committee would finish considering the legislation soon.

Have you sent your message asking committee members to support Senate Bill 1220? More than 7,200 emails have been sent to committee members through our Action Center so far. You still have time—so send your message now to make your voice heard!


2. Major victory: Fentanyl trafficking bill on its way to Gov. Little

Legislation aimed at reducing fentanyl trafficking is now on its way to the governor’s desk after being approved by the Idaho Senate in a 28-7 vote.

House Bill 406 – which is sponsored by Rep. Ted Hill (R-Eagle) and Sen. Todd Lakey (R-Nampa) – establishes mandatory minimum prison sentences for fentanyl traffickers and creates the crime of drug-induced homicide.

Idaho already has mandatory minimums for trafficking other drugs, like heroin, meth, and cocaine.  As Sen. Chris Trakel (R-Nampa) pointed out while debating in favor of the legislation:

You want to see the proof [that mandatory minimums work]? Look out your window. We’re not San Francisco. We’re not Portland, Oregon. We’re not Rhode Island. We’re not PA, where there’s hypodermic needles laying all over the ground, all over the benches, with drug addicts lying all over the streets like zombies.

Mandatory minimums do work—as multiple quantitative studies have demonstrated. One leading study found that increased incarceration in the 1990s, which was driven in large part by mandatory minimum sentences, accounted for one-third of the observed reduction in crime during that same time period.

Your involvement helped move House Bill 406 through the legislative process. In fact, Idaho Family Policy Center ministry partners used our Action Center to send more than 10,000 emails to House and Senate committee members, asking for their support.

We’ll be praying that Gov. Little signs this important legislation so that, as Sen. Scott Herndon (R-Sagle) said in debate, “Idaho [sends] a strong statement against fentanyl traffickers and what we think about illicit drug use.”


3. Legislation to stop automatic vaccine registry reporting passes the House

Many parents may not know that under our state vaccine registry law, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare automatically collects the immunization status of children, even without the consent of parents.

House Bill 397 fixes this by requiring the state to obtain permission from parents to this centralized state registry instead of automatically opting them into the system without notice.

Our policy assistant, Grace Howat, explained the importance of this legislation when it received a public hearing in the House Health and Welfare Committee last week:

Parents are responsible for raising their children, not the state. For this reason, parents should be respected in their decisions over who has access to their children’s medical information.

Put simply, state government does not have the power to catalog a child’s personalized medical information in a centralized statewide database without express consent from parents.

The bill – which is sponsored by Rep. Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett) – passed off the House floor last week, and will soon be heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.


4. Safe haven baby box legislation passes out of Senate committee

Idaho Family Policy Center is excited to support Senate Bill 1272, which ensures that local communities can install monitored boxes that mothers can use to surrender their baby in a safe manner with complete anonymity.

Currently, mothers can surrender their newborns at selected Idaho locations, like fire stations or police stations. But in these environments, mothers must still make face-to-face contact with officials, which may deter women from seeking help.

Our policy assistant, Grace Howat, testified in favor of this bill last week:

As a Christian pro-life organization, we know that all life is valuable and that God puts all of us here on earth for a purpose. In fact, Psalms 139 tells us that God knitted us together in our mother’s womb, and Genesis 1 shows us that we are all valuable because we are made in God’s image.

By ensuring that Idaho communities can install monitored safe haven baby boxes, Senate Bill 1272 promotes a wonderful means to protect young innocent life.

Thankfully, this bill – which is sponsored by Sen. Julie VanOrden (R-Blackfoot) – passed out of the Senate Health and Welfare committee, and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor.


5. ‘Compromise’ library bill waiting for Senate vote—and IFPC continues calling for amendments

The newest ‘compromise’ library smut bill, Senate Bill 1289, passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee this week, and it will soon receive a vote from the full Senate.

Idaho Family Policy Center wants to support this legislation. But in its current form, Senate Bill 1289 not only raises serious constitutional concerns, but also fails to deliver sound policy for parents and children.

Unfortunately, this legislation gives parents legal recourse only if a library or school board agrees with them that a pornographic work is harmful to minors. In essence, this means that parents must ask permission from school or library boards before they can bring a civil action against a library for making pornography available to children.

Senate Bill 1289 also uses unconstitutional and outdated legal language. If left uncorrected, this will result in unnecessary court challenges that the state will almost certainly lose, needlessly wasting state money and leaving children unprotected.

For these reasons, Idaho Family Policy Center is asking legislators to fix these problems by amending the bill before moving it further through the legislative process.

Let state legislators and the governor know that you want real solutions to this issue by signing our online petition or participating in our petition drive before the deadline next week!


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