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House unanimously agrees to send HB 427, religious freedom expansion bill, back to committee

The House has agreed unanimously to return HB 427, Rep. Lynn Luker’s religious freedom expansion bill, to the House State Affairs Committee. Luker told the AP this morning that the bill likely won’t come up again this session. “HB 427 has been on the amending order for some time,” Luker told the House this morning. “The reason for that was it was sent here to respond to concerns that were addressed in the public testimony in the State Affairs Committee. Due to continuing comments, many constructive, it’s appropriate to return it to the committee to see if some of those concerns can be balanced.”

House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said, "It's not coming back this session."

The bill sought to protect those who cite religion as a reason to deny service to others to whom they object; Luker said it was in response to a New Mexico case in which a wedding photographer was penalized after refusing to photograph a same-sex marriage ceremony. Luker also proposed HB 426 this year, to prevent the state from revoking or suspending occupational licenses for violations that the license-holder commits for religious reasons; that bill never got a hearing in committee.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.