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Eye On Boise

Senate kills faith-healing bill on 11-24 vote

The Idaho Senate voted 11-24 against SB 1182, the faith healing bill, killing it; you can read my full story here at

How they voted:

Voting yes: Sens. Agenbroad, Bair, Brackett, Davis, Foreman, Hagedorn, Hill, Johnson, Lakey, Rice, and Siddoway.

Voting no: Sens. DenHartog, Anthon, Bayer, Buckner-Webb, Burgoyne, Crabtree, Guthrie, Harris, Heider, Jordan, Keough, Lee, Lodge, Martin, Mortimer, Nonini, Nye, Patrick, Souza, Stennett, Thayn, Vick, Ward-Engelking, and Winder.

 "This is a tough issue," said Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, in his closing debate, before asking for a moment of silence. "No judgment here." He said, "I think we've done our job here, senators. We were asked for a through review of faith healing statutes, and we've done that. And we needed to have that debate."

Among comments from other senators in the final portion of the debate:

Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell: “I think it is fundamentally wrong to criminalize people for the free exercise of religion. … If that child is of age and has sufficient faith, you could violate the rights of that child to free exercise of their religion by requiring them to be medicated or receive medical treatment.”

Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said, “My vote will be no. But it’s not because I want to criminalize parents. I want to save lives. And I want to save the lives of those who have no voice for themselves. This bill doesn’t get there for me.”

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, said, “I don’t see that bright line. I see a line that’s very cloudy, very mixed. Is this a step in the right direction? Maybe it’s not.”

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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