Idaho House of Representatives combats culture war

Critics of this bill see it as a target discriminating against transgender youth. Photo credit: Alexander Grey

Vulnerable Child Protective Act

The Vulnerable Child Protective Act passed the House last week. The bill would amend the existing state ban on female genital mutilation, to include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and sex reassignment surgeries when administered to children struggling with gender dysphoria.

The act passed along party lines except for Matthew Bundy, a Republican representative from District 8 located in north central Idaho. According to an NBC article, Bundy said he voted against it because it did not include a strong enough guarantee that transgender kids and their families would still have access to counseling.

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary and Rules committee where committee members will decide whether to keep the bill in committee or put it to a vote on the Senate floor.

Using student IDs for voting

The House passed legislation that would eliminate student ID cards as a valid form of identification at the polls.

Democrats voted against this bill arguing it would disincentivize young people from voting and prohibit those without a license.

Many Republicans cited elections security concerns as they argued on the House floor.

“The problem with student ID cards is that they are not secure,” said Representative Tina Lambert said on the House floor. “Proof of identity is not required in order to get one. Some are going to say that this bill will prevent young people from voting. That is certainly not the goal. The goal is simply to ensure that only qualified people are voting in Idaho elections.”

The bill was assigned to the Senate State Affairs committee that deals with statewide issues such as elections.

Transgender bathrooms

Senators are likely to vote on a bill ensuring that public schools maintain separate bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, dressing areas and overnight accommodations for biological boys and biological girls sometime this week.

“Requiring students to share restrooms and changing facilities with members of the opposite biological sex generates potential embarrassment, shame, and psychological injury to students, as well as increasing the likelihood of sexual assault, molestation, rape, voyeurism, and exhibitionism,” the bill said.

This bill just completed its second reading on the Senate floor. Every bill that goes through the House or Senate has to be read a total of three times. After the third reading, legislators vote on the bill.

You can learn more about bills going through the Idaho Legislature here.