News About and For IEA Members.

Got Ideas? →
Submit an IEA Reporter item.

IEA Events →
View the complete calendar.

Late-Session Votes Rush Library Bill to Governor’s Desk

April 5, 2024

A late-session library policing bill was rushed through votes in both houses of the Idaho Legislature on Wednesday, sending the legislation to Gov. Brad Little’s desk for signature to become law.

House Bill 710 allows anyone to demand that library materials they deem “harmful to minors” be moved to adult sections of a library. If the library refuses to do so after 60 days, the complainant may ask a judge to review the materials. The judge will decide if the materials meet established definitions of “harmful for children” in Idaho law. If the judge rules in favor of the complainant, the library may be sued for damages.

The legislation is sponsored by House Speaker Mike Moyle (R-Star), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder (R-Boise) and Rep. Jaron Crane (R-Nampa). Crane was also a sponsor on the two previous library bills this year. It was introduced after lawmakers rejected a more moderate bill widely seen as an acceptable compromise.

The Senate approved an amended version of the bill – the amendment increased the time libraries must take action on a complaint from 30 to 60 days – in a 24-11 vote Wednesday. That afternoon the House overwhelmingly approved the amended bill. The bill originally passed the House in a 47-23 vote on March 13.

Little now has five days to sign the bill into law, let it become law without his signature or veto it. Last year, Little vetoed a similar bill with more severe penalties, and the House failed to override the veto. It’s unclear if Little will do the same with this legislation. Vote margins in both houses suggest lawmakers could muster the required 2/3 majority needed to override a veto.

“The issue has created great division in our state,” said Sen. Cindy Carlson (R-Riggins) according to one media report. “This legislation creates a process that is fair for both sides. One side may want kids to have access to certain material and the other side does not.”

House Bill 710 makes libraries liable for up to $250 in statutory damages. Other potential damages for loss or injury are uncapped in the bill. It prohibits libraries from allowing minors to access materials depicting nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sado-masochistic abuse.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This