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Eye On Boise

Controversial parental rights bill headed for a revamp in the Senate

HB 113, the controversial parental rights bill from Rep. Janet Trujillo, R-Idaho Falls, is headed to the Senate’s amending order for major changes. “We’ve made great progress on this,” Trujillo told the Senate State Affairs Committee this morning. She’s been working with Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, and a working group on revamping the bill.

Davis said the amendments in the works would completely replace the current text of the bill. The new version would start with a statement of legislative intent “that espouses five different general constitutional principles that I believe to be quite solid,” Davis said. “The second section of the bill provides for the parental right of custody and control, and the third deals with the education of children, and ties it to Idaho’s Constitution, Article 9, Section 9.”

“The provisions of the prior bill dealing with legal guardians, our little work group recognized, created challenges that we weren’t time-prepared to address,” Davis said, “so those have not been included in here. Those were the ones that Michael Henderson from the Supreme Court expressed some concern about.” He added, “Section 4 is the judicial test, and Section 5 is a severability section.”

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, asked Trujillo if she was comfortable with the amendments. “Yes,” she said. “We had a working group put together so I had been involved in what you are seeing all the way through, and yes, I’m very comfortable with what we have put together.” With that, the committee voted unanimously to send the bill to the Senate’s 14th Order for amendment; under Senate rules, any senator may offer amendments.

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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