Bill advances to guarantee visitors for patients, long-term care residents

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The House Health and Welfare Committee has passed a bill guaranteeing  a right to visitation from essential caregivers for hospital patients and residents in long-term care facilities. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, was crafted in response to early COVID-19 restrictions that prohibited in-person visits atContinue reading “Bill advances to guarantee visitors for patients, long-term care residents”

House votes to end COVID-19 emergency declaration, calls it “crying wolf”

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho House of Representatives on Monday voted to end the state’s emergency disaster declaration that Gov. Brad Little put in place. The resolution, sponsored by Reps. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, and Chad Christensen, R-Iona, passed the House with a 42-26 vote. It now goes to the Senate.  Scott claimed thatContinue reading “House votes to end COVID-19 emergency declaration, calls it “crying wolf””

Committee approves bill to prohibit gender-confirmation medical treatment

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The House State Affairs Committee a bill that would prohibit gender-confirmation surgery from being performed on children, even if they had parental consent. Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa, introduced the bill that would add to the existing law for “female genital mutilation” under Idaho code 18-1506B.  The Legislature initially established thatContinue reading “Committee approves bill to prohibit gender-confirmation medical treatment”

House committee narrowly backs bill to guarantee in-person visits at long-term care facilities

By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports The House Health and Welfare Committee narrowly endorsed a bill to guarantee in-person visitation at assisted living and nursing facilities, voting 6-5 to send the proposal to the House floor.  Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, sponsored the legislation, which would require facilities to allow in-person visits, while also allowing facilities toContinue reading “House committee narrowly backs bill to guarantee in-person visits at long-term care facilities”

Attorney general’s opinion finds abortion bill likely unconstitutional

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Senate State Affairs moved forward an anti-abortion bill that would allow a woman’s family members to sue an abortion provider for damages without the woman’s permission. The bill, SB 1309, adds a civil penalty option to the “Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act”  that passed last legislative session. The billContinue reading “Attorney general’s opinion finds abortion bill likely unconstitutional”

Idaho deactivates crisis standards of care, hospitals remain stressed

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare deactivated crisis standards of care Tuesday in the three southern Idaho public health districts. The health districts activated crisis standards on Jan. 15 due to a shortage of healthy staff and a blood shortage. On Tuesday, IDHW announced shortages in staffing and bloodContinue reading “Idaho deactivates crisis standards of care, hospitals remain stressed”

House passes bill to legalized cannabis-derived MS medication

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Report On Monday, the Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize a new cannabis-derived medication in a 65-5 vote.  The bill would apply to a medication called Nabiximols and will be legalized by the FDA. It is already legal in 25 countries. The five no votes in the HouseContinue reading “House passes bill to legalized cannabis-derived MS medication”

Governor activates National Guard to assist health care and IDOC

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Monday that he again activated the Idaho National Guard to assist with the impact of COVID-19. A total of 75 guardsmen would be active to assist Primary Health Medical Group facilities and the Idaho Department of Correction, which are experiencing staffing shortages. The activation comesContinue reading “Governor activates National Guard to assist health care and IDOC”

Legislators move cannabis-derived medication legalization forward

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The House Health and Welfare Committee moved a bill forward that would legalize a medication derived from marijuana to help treat neurological conditions, through HB 446. Kurt Stembridge, of Greenwich Biosciences, presented the bill to the committee. He explained that he anticipates the medication, called Nabiximols, will be legalized byContinue reading “Legislators move cannabis-derived medication legalization forward”

Houses passes bill to establish new teacher health insurance fund

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho House of Representatives passed in a 55-14 vote a bill that would establish a fund allowing local school districts to buy into the state health insurance plan. HB 443, sponsored by Rep. Rod Furniss, R-Rigby, would allow school districts to offer better health insurance plans to teachers andContinue reading “Houses passes bill to establish new teacher health insurance fund”