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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Idaho’s day-care wars didn’t end in ‘09, but new law this year could settle issue

When Idaho passed landmark legislation two years ago to, for the first time, require state licensing of day-care operations that served fewer than 13 kids, the state's day-care wars didn't end. Instead, social conservatives in the Idaho House who opposed the whole idea of day-care regulation - including some who said mothers should just stay home with their kids - blocked approval of the rules to implement the new law two years running, though it took effect anyway under temporary rules.

Now, a compromise reached at the close of this year's legislative session between the House and Senate has brought changes to the law that all sides expect to settle the issue, in part by removing all maximum group sizes for child care operations and restructuring required staff-child ratios. Sen. Joyce Broadsword, R-Sagle, said, "It is simple, it's easy to understand, and it's easy for people to comply with." Broadsword, who along with Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, revamped HB 129 to remove House-backed changes including no longer counting kids of providers in staff-child ratios, said, "I think that everybody had the best interest of the children of Idaho at heart. We just saw different ways to get there." You can read my full story here from Sunday's Spokesman-Review.

Panel OKs Day-Care Regs … Finally

Today marked the first time - in five straight years of trying - that the day care licensing bill has made it out of committee and to the full chamber in either house. “That’s a breakthough of sorts,” said Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d’Alene. The 8-1 vote to send the bill, SB 1112, to the full Senate for amendments was a strong one, with just Sen. Melinda Smyser, R-Parma, voting no. Even Sen. Denton Darrington voted in favor of … the bill. … “Sen. Darrington has, I think, appreciated that the current statute needs changing,” Sayler said after the vote. “I think he was aware of public opinion and the changing nature of Idaho, and that there was a lot of public support for this legislation even though he didn’t support it/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

DFO: Put your hands together for state Rep. George Sayler, D-CDA, who has persisted after 5 years to move this common-sense, day-care bill to the House floor.

IMHO Idaho: Day Care Regs ‘Onerous’

Rep. George Sayler (D-Coeur d’Alene), who survived a stiff challenge from conservative Republican Jim Hollingsworth in November, is back with his annual attempt to further push the nose of nanny government into Idaho’s daycare system. His bill (S1112) would require every daycare center which cares for at least four unrelated children to submit to onerous requirements for staff-child ratios, facility regulations and criminal background checks. It will necessitate an expanded taxpayer-funded bureaucracy to perform all the inspections and record-keeping that the bill will require. There is little to no evidence that increased regulation of daycare centers does much to protect child health and safety/Bryan Fischer, Idaho Values Alliance. More here.

Question: Do you agree with the Idaho Values Alliance that day-care regulations proposed by state Rep. George Sayler, R-CDA, are onerous?