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Eye On Boise

Religious freedom expansion bill draws crowd to Statehouse hearing room

HB 427, one of two bills sponsored by Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, aimed at enhancing state protections for free exercise of religion, is up for a hearing this morning at 9 in the House State Affairs Committee. HB 427 adds to Idaho’s existing 2000 religious freedom protection law, which makes religion a defense for violating other rules or laws unless the state can demonstrate a “compelling governmental interest,” by expanding the law to also cover disputes between private parties in which one is citing a government “action, enactment or law that burdens a person’s exercise of religion.” The other bill, HB 426, would protect professional licenses against revocation for actions taken based on “sincerely held religious beliefs,” from employment decisions to refusing to provide services; just HB 427 is up today.

The meeting room already is full and an overflow room has been set up.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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