A new bill has been introduced in the Idaho Legislature to prohibit anyone within Idaho’s government, at any level, from mandating a face covering.
House Bill 281 was introduced last week by Rep. Karey Hanks (R-Saint Anthony) in the House State Affairs Committee.
The bill’s official Statement of Purpose is as follows:
The purpose of this legislation is to prohibit the state of Idaho, a political subdivision, or an officer of the state from mandating the usage of a face mask, face shield, or other face covering for the purpose of preventing or slowing the spread of a contagious or an infectious disease; and definitions.
The bill passed the “introductory hearing” on a voice vote and will now be under consideration for a full public hearing by the House State Affairs Committee.
Hanks, the bill sponsor, said during the introductory hearing.
We live in a Republic and ‘we the people’ should have a voice and a choice about our own health. I have done some research and would like to share it with you on the physical, emotional, and even the mental injury to our bodies and possibly even our souls as healthy individuals are required to wear face masks.
A number of Idaho’s media outlets ran headlines about Hanks’ “soul” comment. Idaho Dispatch reached out to Hanks and asked if she wanted to release any clarifying remarks about the “soul” comment.
Here is what Hanks told Idaho Dispatch,
I have heard so many personal stories of families, individuals, and especially children who are suffering because of the requirement to wear masks. We no longer see smiles. People are afraid to talk to each other. We are social beings and I know we are hurting because of the isolation. We’re supposed to wear masks to church where our souls can be nourished. But masks are a barrier to the human connection. According to some research I’ve done, our children’s psychological and neurological development depend on seeing and reading faces.
We are created in the image of God. Our faces and our countenances are a reflection of our inner being, in other words, our soul.
Rep. Chris Mathias (D-Boise), who sits on the committee where the bill was introduced, said about the proposal,
I’m gonna support the printing of this if it’s moved but I just wanto to say for the record that masks are not for the individual. They are for the people near the wearer. It’s not for my health, it’s for yours.
A public hearing for HB 281 has not yet been scheduled.
Tags: Chris Mathias, HB 281, Karey Hanks, Mask Mandates, Saint Anthony