Minimum licensing standards for small day care centers in Idaho survived a Senate committee hearing Wednesday and headed for debate in the full Senate. The sponsors are offering several minor amendments; one restores a word inadvertently left out from the National Rifle Association’s suggested wording about gun storage at home day cares. When the bill is opened up for amendments in the full Senate, any senator may offer changes. The vote was 8-1, with backers saying it’s time to enact the long-debated bill, but others saying parents, not the state, should worry about day care.
Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairwoman Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, said, “We’ve got to stop taking responsibility away from the parents to decide if that place is clean - they go there every day.” Lodge, however, voted in favor of sending the bill to the full Senate for amendments. Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene, co-sponsor of the bill, told the committee, “Parents would still make the choice … that’s their right and responsibility.” But he said the state should provide some basic resources to families, including “the assurance that there are some consistent safety standards in place.” The bill is headed to the Senate’s 14th Order for amendments.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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