Legislative Update February 16, 2020

Take a deep breath… it was another rollercoaster of a week in the Statehouse. Let’s get the bad stuff over with. 1) District 33 Rep. Bryan Zollinger introduced a bill banning all public funding for healthcare providers that also provide abortions. Our phrasing is very deliberate here because this bill will *not* reduce abortions. What it will do is cut off access to basic healthcare services for people who might not be able to receive them any other way. By basic services, we mean: cancer screenings, annual physicals, birth control (which, by the way, people also take to lessen the symptoms of menstruation — however, people also take it to prevent pregnancy which is perfectly legal, goes a long way towards reducing abortions, and is also not Zollinger’s business), sex education (which goes much further towards actually reducing abortions than restricting access to abortions does). https://www.idahostatejournal.com/new… 2) Also from District 33, Rep. Barb Ehardt formally introduced her bill banning transgender athletes from participating in high school sports. Before you come at us for painting with too broad a brush and claim that transgender girls can play on the boys’ teams, and vice versa, we’d like to congratulate you on your logical fallacy and point you to some actual science. https://www.idahostatesman.com/news/l… For context, the science is far from settled and pretending otherwise is disingenuous. Here’s a complete survey fo the science so far, and how every measure people have attempted to use, whether chromosomal or hormonal, has failed to adequately do the job. https://www.barbellmedicine.com/blog/… 3) And because we can’t have just one attack on the LGBTQ community, Representative Julianne Young from Blackfoot has teamed up with Northern Idaho Senator Steve Vick to author legislation banning transgender people from changing their sex on their birth certificates. Young and Vick claim the bill to ensure “accurate statistics” but what’s accurate about forcing people to lie about who they are? https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection…. 4) Let’s not forget the other bill in the pipeline that would make gender affirmation procedures for minors (including hormonal treatments) a crime punishable by life imprisonment, Rep. Heather Scott’s bill essentially banning affirmative action, and Rep. Zollinger’s and Rep. Christy Zito’s proposal to fundamentally change marriage laws in Idaho in order to — presumably — shirk federal marriage equality statutes, and you start to wonder: are they actually in office to do the people’s business, or score cultural warrior points? What purpose does this batch of bills really serve? 5) Now onto the better stuff: The Idaho Patients Act has been reintroduced into the House. This is the bill designed to protect Idahoans from predatory billing practices. If you want to let your legislators know you support this bill, use this handy link to contact them: https://idahopatientact.org/contact-y… 6) Also, Rep. Ilana Rubel introduced legislation with Rep. Jarom Wagoner focused on better protection for Idaho renters. The bill requires landlords to give 45 days notice to any increases in rent of 10% or more. Right now they only have to give 15 days notice. https://www.kivitv.com/news/state-of-… A public hearing for Rubel’s bill is set for Wednesday at 1:30 pm in the House Judiciary Committee. You can email support for HB459 to hjud@house.idaho.gov. 7) This week the Senate Education Committee voted to reinstate the standards the House Education Committee repealed. Make good choices, and y’all need to contact your legislators on both Committees. 8) On Tuesday we have a central committee meeting. We’ll have paperwork for precinct captains to fill out. You don’t have to fill out the paperwork at the meeting to run as a precinct captain, but we make it easy. If you want to be a part of determining the direction of the Bonneville County Democrats, you need to be a precinct captain! You MUST BE A REGISTERED DEMOCRAT to be a precinct captain and serve on the county central committee. You can get a form here: https://bonndemocrats.org/wp-content/… Filing forms are due March 13, 2020 by 5 pm at the Elections Office at 825 Shoup. 9) EARLY VOTING IS OPEN FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY. You can do it at the Election Office when you go there to cast your vote. The Bonneville County Elections Office is at 825 Shoup Ave. in Idaho Falls. You can find answers to other questions here: https://idahodems.org/2020primary/