A divided state Senate this morning killed legislation from the state Board of Nursing that would have allowed nurses to be fined for violations of their licenses. Current sanctions include suspension or revocation of licenses, and training or remediation programs. Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, the bill’s floor sponsor, said the proposed fines of up to $1,000 are less than other medical boards already can assess; chiropractors can be assessed up to $2,000 fines, for example, as can optometrists and pharmacists. But Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon, said the nursing board already can limit or restrict licenses and order training, and employers also can take action if nurses' performance isn't up to standards. “A thousand bucks seems pretty punitive and disciplinary in nature to me,” he said. Sen. Fred Martin, R-Boise, said, “We’ve looked at similar proposals to this in the past and have previously rejected them.” SB 1262 was rejected on a close, 16-19 vote.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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