2009 NASW Idaho Legislative Summary

2009 NASW Idaho Legislative Summary
House Bill 140   Increase Beer and Wine Tax- This would have given more funding to substance abuse treatment and a different version will be back next year-Failed in the House.
House Bill 46  Social Work Licensing- increased fee cap- Passed into law
House Bill 87 Revised current law to further protections for vulnerable adults- Passed into law
House Bill 216 Would allow pharmacist to deny any medication to clients based on a moral, religious or ethical objection.  NASW is committed to the Code of Ethics and believes in a person’s right to self-determination. Therefore, NASW “supports legislation to facilitate a woman’s access to contraceptives and emergency contraceptives” (Social Work Speaks, 2009, pg 131) and believes people have “an equal right to continuous, high quality care that is effective, efficient, safe, timely, and patient-centered” (Social Work Speak, 2009, pg. 169)- Failed.
House Concurrent Resolution 23 The Pay Equity Resolution- In Idaho, men make sixty cents to a woman’s dollar according to a recent report in the Idaho Statesman. HCR 23 is a resolution that acknowledges the persistent problem of pay inequity between men and women and established April 28, 2009 as ‘Equal Pay Day’. Passed.
House Bill 145 Sterilization Definition Revised- this bill provides protections for children with disabilities subject to involuntary sterilization.  Passed.
Senate Bill 1001 This would establish an Alzheimer’s Strategic Plan Task Force to examine the growing problem of Alzheimer’s disease in our families and communities. - This legislation was brought forward by NASW’s Vice-President, Skeeter Lynch, LMSW. The bill died in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, but will be brought again next year.
Senate Bill 1058 Women’s Commission to be Decommissioned- Under the reasoning that it disparities in power and resources no longer exist between Idaho’s men and women, this bill decommissioned the Women’s Commission. NASW was against this action. Although the Governor-appointed Commissioners did not support any sort of social justice agenda, the commission had potential to someday be valuable asset to our community.
Senate 1112 Day Care Licensing- This bill underwent several amendments before finally passing into law.  It establishes basic minimum safety standards for day care  with over seven children and background checks on employees of day cares with over four children. The passing of this bill took a lot of hard work from sponsors (Representative George Sayler, D- Coeur D’Alene, Senator Tim Corder, R- Mountain Home) and children’s advocates all over the state.
The Idaho Human Rights Act amendment- Human rights allies all over Idaho are coming together to build support for an amendment to the Idaho Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, education, housing and other public accommodation.  Read more at

While Idaho’s leadership were pressured into taking much of the federal stimulus money, Governor Otter has not used much of the discretionary funds in the way we would have liked him to and for the first time in Idaho history, public education received less funding than the previous year.  Many social services in Idaho were scaled back or cut entirely.  The governor has continued to champion road maintenance and road building as his primary concern for funding while Idaho's unemployment skyrockets and Idaho's food banks are seeing their largest demand.


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