Idaho Dispatch

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Op-Ed: May 17th Primary: Real Impacts for Families

By • May 7, 2022

The following Op-Ed was submitted by Rep. Julianne Young. Note: Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

Four years ago, I began service as a state representative in an environment where too many, even in Idaho, are turning their backs on the conservative values of many Idaho families and buying into liberal ideology and big-government solutions.  My experience has been exhilarating, challenging, and sobering.  Through it all, one thing is crystal clear: without the right leadership, the freedoms and rights of Idaho families will be neglected by an establishment more motivated to protect powerful interests and industries than to protect individuals and families.

Over a year ago I got a call from a residential care center owner in Boise.  Elderly individuals in her care were literally dying from isolation, loneliness, and restricted mobility.  She was beyond frustrated with edicts from Idaho’s Dept. of Health and Welfare which threatened loss of licensure for allowing families to visit their loved ones.  At a local constituent meeting I raised the issue and immediately heard three heart-wrenching stories.  People were dying of loneliness– and dying alone.  It was inhumane and unacceptable.

I went to work, only to find that I could not get a hearing for legislation addressing visitation.  However, during the 2022 session, due to the fortunate absence of a chairman, I successfully introduced, and then passed in the Idaho House, legislation (House Bill 601) guaranteeing “in-person” visitation in residential care settings for ALL immediate family.  This, in spite of efforts by a House committee member who was grasping at straws to stop the legislation.  In addition to protecting “in-person” visitation, H601 stipulated that visitation precautions must be consistent with those required of staff.  The only exception: bureaucrats couldn’t deny family visitation based on vaccine status.  No longer would janitorial staff come and go, while spouses and children were shut out.  The precautions that worked for staff would work for families.

Sadly, the Senate Health and Welfare committee subsequently killed H601 and pushed forward Senate Bill 1336 (S1336) allowing individuals to designate an essential care-giver who would have visitation.  Unlike H601, which preemptively protects visitation rights, S1336 placed the burden on the patient to meet legal requirements, effectively leaving our most vulnerable without protected visitation rights.  S1336 also failed to define appropriate restrictions on visitation.  The same legislator who, as a House committee member, previously, unsuccessfully, tried to stop H601 in the House committee then carried and passed S1336 on the House floor.

Legislative actions in regard to H601 were inexcusable.  Residential care center owners and others provided compelling testimony pleading for support of H601.  There was NO opposing testimony.  H601 was both legally and pragmatically sound.  What’s more, S1336 did not conflict with H601.  The Senate could have passed both bills.  Yet, Senate committee members chose to protect the bureaucratic control that has caused so much suffering over the last two years by killing H601.  Now, some of these same legislators, from both the House and Senate, are campaigning as pro-family candidates!  This is a dishonest cop-out.

Unfortunately, this experience isn’t unique.  The conservative majority in the House has repeatedly taken strong positions, protecting individual rights and families, only to find that the Senate will not act.  The issues we grapple with on the state level are real, relevant, and directly impactful– and in today’s political environment, it is not sufficient to vote for a candidate just because they are nice or because you’ve known them for a long time.

Will our newly-seated 2023 legislature continue to perpetuate the establishment-pleasing-power-centered political protectionism which has been the cause of so much suffering; or will they prioritize and defend Idaho freedoms and families?  The primary election vote on May 17th will decide.

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Tags: HB 601, Julianne Young, May 17 Primary, SB 1336

7 thoughts on “Op-Ed: May 17th Primary: Real Impacts for Families

  1. This is exactly correct.



  2. Thank you for fighting. Idaho dangerously teeters on the edge of progressivism. They must wake up.

  3. Looked up info on ballotpedia and found out the Vice Chair is Peter Riggs, who is up for reelection, has an Idaho Freedom Foundation Freedom Index of “F”, a Spending Index of “F”, and as Education Index of F.

    Mr Riggs is a Failure at keeping Idaho Free, Educated and Solvent.

    Vote Carl Bjerke.

    Thanks to Rep Julianne Yound for bringing this to our attention.

  4. This is a great explanation of what the Republicrat (Republican when needing votes; Democrat normally) establishment does not want people to know. Sadly, Idaho has thousands of people who see the (R) behind a name and automatically vote for the incumbent with out knowing the person’s lack of true Republican values. And that is why we have the 24 year career politicians like Mike Moyle whose primary concern seems to be money and self-interest, not for the interest of the general population.

  5. This editorial opinion is spot on! Our Primary Election in Idaho this year may be the last hope we have to turn Idaho around. This election is critical. I urge people to research the candidates. DO NOT vote for the “Blue Wing” of the GOP. Those are the “establishment” candidates who are no better than the Democrats. They want big government and they abhor those who fight for individual rights. People need to vote for those who are the most vilified by the press. Those who are at the tip of the sword are the ones who are causing the “establishment” to run scared. Vote for the true Conservatives, not those who simply mouth the word every election cycle in order to get elected. Learn the difference!

  6. Don’t you just love how all these RINOs have added “Constitutional” in front of their Republican moniker? Constitutional Republican my posterior! Or what about some RINOs calling themselves “Constitutional Conservatives?” Makes my blood boil when I see the establishment’s commercials and yard signage.

    The primaries in red states like Idaho are more important than the General, because primaries are where we have a chance at removing RINOs. If true conservatives in this state haven’t figured this out by now, I don’t know that they ever will…..

  7. My wife has Alzheimer’s disease. She has been in extended care for two and a half years. The Covid lock down did make it difficult to visit her. We had to visit through a window… no physical contact.

    The latest innovation from Health and Welfare is to require residential care facilities to isolate people with memory problems from those without memory problems.

    As I understand the logic of this new regulation… if residents with memory issues associate with non memory issues residents the clients with memory issues will try to escape from the facility.

    So The Department of Health and Welfare issued a regulation in 2021 requiring residential care facilities to build a wall that isolates those with memory issues from those that have none.

    Consequently, my wife is no longer able to associate with her friends who are now locked on the other side of the wall.

    I can see no logical reason for this regulation other than the possibility that California has such a regulation and some bureaucrat at Idaho Health and Welfare is trying to justify their pay grade by requiring residential care facilities in Idaho to go to the expense of building a wall and hiring additional staff in order to keep residents isolated from one another.

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