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Eye On Boise

Thu., Aug. 4, 2016, 8:08 a.m.

Faith healing panel hearing opens, ‘really about balancing interests,’ co-chair says

Lawmakers gather on Thursday morning to consider faith healing and children at risk, and Idaho's faith-healing exemption from child abuse, neglect and manslaughter charges (Betsy Z. Russell)
Lawmakers gather on Thursday morning to consider faith healing and children at risk, and Idaho's faith-healing exemption from child abuse, neglect and manslaughter charges (Betsy Z. Russell)

As this morning’s legislative committee hearing on faith healing and children at risk opened, Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, the panel’s co-chair, said, “To me, the issue is really about balancing interests, those of the state and those of the parents. I think that’s very key.” He said, “There’s a lot of strong feelings about this issue on both sides, and I respect that, but I want to stay focused on what our task is here.”

Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, the House co-chair, echoed that. “This is an extremely emotional issue, I think, for everyone in this room,” he said. “I hope that as we go through and speak of these matters that we’ll be able to do our best and try to keep our emotions in check and talk about the facts that we need to talk about. We need to discuss the legalities and the statutes that we have, so we have a good understanding of them. … I know it’s hard, it’s hard for me in this kind of situation, but I hope everybody can try really hard to stick to the facts we’re talking about.”




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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