This week's substance use-related legislative updates in a nutshell: 
  • Senate Bill 1017 passed the House and was delivered to the Governor
  • A Senate Bill involving mental health crisis care was introduced
  • A Senate Bill and House Joint Resolution involving ballot initiatives were introduced
  • Senate Bills 1041 and 1087 were reported out of their Committees with Do Pass Recommendations
New Introduced Legislation
Senate Bill No. 1110

Summary - Amends existing law to revise signature requirements for ballot initiatives or referendum petitions. 

Statement of Purpose - The purpose of this legislation is to increase voter involvement and inclusivity in the voter initiative/referendum process. This will be accomplished by ensuring signatures are gathered from each of the 35 legislative districts, so every part of Idaho is included in this process.

Status - S1110 was introduced on February 12, referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee on February 15, and reported out of Committee with a Do Pass Recommendation on February 23.

Senate Bill No. 1125

Summary - Adds to existing law to establish provisions regarding suicide prevention and crisis care services and a fee to fund such services.

Statement of Purpose - This legislation provides Idahoans a more sustainable method of funding to address mental health crisis care and suicide prevention. The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 designated 988 as the three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crisis needs. In July 2022, 988 will replace the current national suicide prevention phone number. This bill establishes the framework to collect 988 fees to support the call volume and service needs. The full Statement of Purpose was too long to include in the update, we recommend you read it in full here.

Why it Matters - Idaho has the fifth-highest suicide rate in the nation per capita and is 65% higher than the national rate.

Status - S1125 was introduced on February 15 and referred to the Senate Health & Welfare Committee on February 16.

House Joint Resolution No. 2

Summary - Proposes an amendment to the Idaho Constitution to prescribe ballot measure petition signature requirements.

Statement of Purpose - The purpose of this legislation is to prevent the legislature from amending the current signature-gathering requirements for statewide ballot initiatives without voter approval.

Status - HJR2 was introduced on January 28 and referred to the House Ways & Means Committee on January 29.

Updates on Previously Introduced Legislation
Senate Bill No. 1087
  • Topic - Amends existing law to raise the age of legal possession and use of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to 21.
  • Status Update - Reported out of Senate State Affairs Committee with Do Pass Recommendation on February 25.
  • Read full bill information.
Reminders on Pending Legislation

House Bill No. 31
  • Topic -This legislation would allow Idaho State Police (ISP) to perform testing for coroners that do not have the resources or do not want to pay for the testing at a private lab, permit ISP to share the results of the toxicology testing with the Department of Health & Welfare for statistical and monitoring purposes, and specify in state law that ISP Forensics can perform toxicology testing for these purposes.
  • Status - Introduced January 11 and referred to the House Judiciary, Rules & Administration Committee on January 25.
  • Read full bill information.

House Bill No. 38
  • Topic - Telehealth Access
  • Status - Reported out of Senate Health & Welfare Committee with Do Pass Recommendation on February 11.
  • Read full bill information.

House Bill No. 39
  • Topic - Controlled Substances
  • Status - Reported out of Senate Health & Welfare Committee with Do Pass Recommendation on February 11.
  • Read full bill information.

House Bill No. 40
  • Topic - Idaho Pharmacy Act
  • Status - Reported out of Senate Health & Welfare Committee with Do Pass Recommendation on February 11.
  • Read full bill information.

House Bill No. 83
  • Topic - Appropriations, Health and Welfare, Behavioral Health Services
  • Status - Reported out of Senate Committee with Do Pass Recommendation on February 10, filed for third reading on February 11.
  • Read full bill information.

House Bill No. 108
  • Topic - Amends and adds to existing law to authorize the possession, distribution, transportation, and use of cannabis for medical purposes.
  • Status - Introduced on February 9 and referred to the House Health and Welfare Committee on February 10.
  • Read full bill information.

House Bill No. 126
  • Topic - Amends and adds to existing law to establish provisions regarding industrial hemp. 
  • Status - Introduced on February 11 and referred to the House Agricultural Affairs Committee on February 12.
  • Read full bill information.
Have feedback, thoughts, or questions? Email me at jessie.dexter@odp.idaho.gov
Sincerely,

Jessie Dexter
Governor's Office of Drug Policy
Idaho Office of Drug Policy | odp.idaho.gov