Bill banning minor sex changes introduced in the Idaho House, Idaho Launch Bill passes first hurdle

The “Vulnerable Child Protection Act” bans puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 4:10 PM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Nampa Rep. Bruce Skaug has been busy this legislative session. On Tuesday in the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration committee he introduced legislation that would prohibit sex change procedures for all children in Idaho

“If we as a people believe laws that should prevent children from smoking, drinking alcohol and getting tattoos, signing legal contracts, how can we possibly think it is okay for children to have these procedures on their bodies, before they are old enough to make those kinds of decisions,” Skaug said.

His proposed legislation is called the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act”. It amends an existing Bill passed in 2019 that prohibits the genital mutilation of female children, and is a felony under Idaho law, with a penalty of life in prison.

Skaug said a similar Bill was introduced last year. However, it passed in the House and stalled in the Senate.

Like last year’s Bill, his proposed legislation extends the existing language to include all minors, and includes prohibiting puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries when administered to children struggling with gender dysphoria.

Additionally Skaug told committee members, these medical interventions are irreversible and others render the patient sterile at a young age. Others unnecessarily mutilate healthy body organs.

Skaug’s legislation was approved by the committee for printing, but Boise Rep. Chris Mathias had one ask of the Nampa Representative before his legislation comes back for a hearing.

“Unlike last year, this year I would really like to hear from an Idahoan who has had this happen, and regrets it, and would have been a beneficiary of this law had it been in place,” said Mathias. ”Last year we only heard from people out of state. I want to hear from someone that lives here.”

The proposed legislation is yet to have debate on the Senate and House but Blaine Conzatti and the Idaho Family Policy Center are already applauding the introduction of the legislation. Conzatti said:

Also in the Statehouse, A multimillion-dollar incentive program for Idaho high school graduates narrowly cleared its first big statehouse hurdle on Monday.

The Idaho House Education Committee passed the Idaho Launch Bill, on a 10-7 vote that suggests the bill could run into more trouble as the legislative session continues.

One of Gov. Brad Little’s top education priorities for 2023, the bill would provide up to $8,500 in scholarship funding for high school graduates who are looking to pursue in-demand careers.

The proposed bill would provide $102 million for post-secondary aid: $80 million from a permanent, in-demand careers education fund, created in September; and $22 million by phasing out existing scholarships, such as the opportunity scholarship.

HB 24 now goes to the house floor for a vote, perhaps later in the week.