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Idaho Dispatch

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Idaho House of Representatives Passes Bill Prohibiting Future Mask Mandates

By • February 18, 2024

The Idaho House of Representatives has passed a bill disallowing the state of Idaho or any political subdivision of the state to mandate mask wearing for the purpose of preventing the spread of infectious disease. The bill will now be in the hands of a Senate committee.

Political subdivisions of the state include counties, cities, public health districts, school districts, special purpose districts, any other district, or any municipality organized under any general or special law of the state.

State officials would also be prohibited from requiring face coverings if this bill passes. Officials include officers or employees of the state or a political subdivision.

The text of the bill reads in part,

(a) Neither the state nor a political subdivision may mandate that an individual in this state must use a medical face mask, face shield, or other face covering for the purpose of preventing or slowing the spread of a contagious or infectious disease;
(b) An official may not mandate that an individual in this state must use a medical face mask, face shield, or other face covering for the purpose of preventing or slowing the spread of a contagious or infectious disease;
(c) A medical face mask, face shield, or face covering shall not be required by the state, a political subdivision, or an official as a condition for entry, education, employment, or other services

The bill does address and exempt jobs which require the use of face coverings for purposes other than infectious disease such as painters, welders, mining, and more. It states,

“Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to restrict the requirement of face masks in any vocational setting where the wearing of a protective face mask is a mandatory requirement and necessary to perform required job duties. The exemption in this subsection is strictly limited to those working in roles where face masks are an integral and compulsory safety component of required job duties, which includes but is not limited to healthcare professionals, individuals working with hazardous materials or biohazards, and workers in industrial environments where respiratory protection is vocationally required.”

The entire text of the bill can be seen here.

house bill 493

Representative Jacyn Gallagher (R-Weiser) and Senator Brian Lenney (R-Nampa) can be seen here presenting the bill to the House State Affairs Committee.

Leslie Manookian, president of Health Freedom Defense Fund, said in her testimony,

“Since 1918 we have known that masks do not stop transmission or infection.

May 2020 CDC published a paper with their own science showing that masks do not stop transmission of respiratory infections, and yet they led the country down the garden path saying masks would work.

Life carries risk. We can’t force medical interventions on people.

Health Freedom Defense Fund has sued the Biden administration three times. We stopped the federal travel mask mandate because CDC lacked the statutory authority to mandate masks, but also because there is no science. CDC failed to submit a single randomized controlled trial to the federal register in defense of or in support of its mandate. Not a single one. Because they don’t have one.

There is an abundance of science showing that masks do not work as purported.

Idaho code does not protect us on this front. Idaho code needs to be updated in order to ensure that a government cannot overreach and dictate these kinds of policies.”

House State Affairs passed the bill unanimously and sent the bill to the House floor for consideration. The vote of the entire House of Representatives was 46-24-0.

Representative Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett) voted against the bill. When asked about her no vote, she told the Idaho Dispatch,

“It was pretty straight forward. It was what I said in my debate. It lacked a definition for “health care facilities.” I would have been happy to support it had that been defined.

I’m actually the only House member that has ever actually voted against a mask mandate. It was during COVID and I was Vice Chair of Central District Health and I was the lone no vote.”

Following the vote on the House floor, Senator Lenney shared his thoughts on Twitter, and explained the next step for the bill is to head to the Senate State Affairs Committee.


Disclosure: The author of this article is a board member of Health Freedom Defense Fund, an organization mentioned in a quote above.
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Tags: 2024 Idaho Legislature, Brian Lenney, CDC, H493, Health Districts, Health Freedom Defense Fund, Heather Scott, HFDF, House Bill 493, House State Affairs Committee, Idaho House of Representatives, Jacyn Gallagher, Julianne Young, Leslie Manookian, Mask Mandate, Mask Requirement, Megan Blanksma, Political Subdivisions, School Districts, Senate State Affairs Committee

15 thoughts on “Idaho House of Representatives Passes Bill Prohibiting Future Mask Mandates

  1. Hope Gov Little has the will and stamina to make sure Chuck Winder gets this out of senate committee and onto the floor for a full vote and passage.

    1. I wouldn’t count on it. Remember, Little shut down the Legislature so they couldn’t override his policies during COVID. He went along with the initial mask mandates and was the one who approved exemptions only for the politically connected. He also ignored the Idaho Constitution by refusing to get assent from the Legislature to prolong emergency powers past 90 days. He supported the big hospitals in shutting down and cancelling procedures and laying off staff when nothing happened.

      I don’t trust Little – or Bedke or Winder – any farther than I can throw them.

      1. Agree! Well said. Besides it’s up to us, We the People, to make sure our ‘public servants’ stay in their lane. Send your comments/letters to the committee and be sure to state your district if your rep is in that committee.

  2. Absolutely love this, and hope it’s not a gesture only. The mask mandates were horrible infringement on peoples’ rights. Not to mention forced vaccination, which I hope will also be addressed likewise.

  3. I like the idea of crafting a law that prevents misuse of emergency powers to force a population under a mandate without scientific proof, real proof, that a reason exists. That said, I do not like knee jerk reactions that pass a law that potentially puts the population in jeopardy.

  4. I love votes like this where it doesn’t come down to straight Party lines. It shows that some folks are actually doing their own thinking, correct or otherwise. Representative Blanksma is correct, and her concerns should have been addressed prior to the vote.

    1. Blanksma has realized she has pissed off her actual constituents too much by siding with big business too often and is trying to do damage control.

  5. The excuses the nays gave as to why they voted against are baseless.
    It’s disturbing, although not surprising how many for-sale fake public servants there are here in Idaho.
    But the left is relentless in their desire to turn ID into just one more blue shithole.

  6. Our government (at ANY level) has NO BUSINESS deciding for us what medical interventions to take. They have ZERO authority – not legal, moral, ethical or Constitutional to make us wear anything or put anything into our bodies. We have to stop living in fear of “whatever” and letting the government dictate our lives. ANY legislator who voted against this bill needs to be asked from WHERE they derive that authority. Let them prove it. Promoting the “general welfare” doesn’t cut it.

  7. Mask study by NIH N95 COVID masks exposes wearers to dangerous levels of toxic compounds liked to seizures and cancers. Ant politician that veto’s this bill should be arrested and made to step down from his or hers position. We all know now because the state accepts money from the feds the state had to play along. Politicians, city’s, county’s, hospitals, doctors, and nurses practitioners. They even got paid bonus moneys for it. And tell me whos side were they on ? Not the people

  8. Who would’ve ever thought we’d see days like these, where government officials would claim to have authority to make us wear a mask and have dangerous substances shot into our arms under the guise of safety. We’re sure living in the last days. It’s time to read the Holy Bible (KJV) and become born again (John 3:3) to escape this current evil world.

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