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Week 3 Legislative Update

27 Jan 2020 8:26 AM | Anonymous

Week 3 in the legislature introduced a number of new bills involving telehealth, licensing for treatment centers, and grocery tax credits.  Continue reading to learn more about what happened during committee meetings or view upcoming events!

Senate Health and Welfare Committee

Administrative Rules

Certified Family Homes – Docket #16-1319-1901 – ADOPTED

Residential Assisted Living Facilities – Docket #16-0322-1901 ADOPTED

Basic Plan-Institutions for Mental Disease - Docket #16-1309-2001 – ADOPTED

Children’s Basic Plan Benefit – Docket #16-0309-1803 – ADOPTED

Medicaid Enhanced Plan Benefits – Children’s Habilitative Support – ADOPTED

Medicaid Cost-Sharing Rules – Docket #16-0318-1901 – ADOPTED

House Health and Welfare Committee

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

HB 314 was passed in the House Health and Welfare Committee. This legislation modifies terminology for deaf or hard of hearing persons. The bill replaces “hearing impairment” with “hearing loss” and “deaf, hard of hearing”.  The new language is suggested to be more positive and is important in reflecting society’s attitudes. You can read the bill HERE.

Guardianship Evaluation Committees

HB 311 was passed in the House Health and Welfare Committee. This legislation will allow the Department’s Crisis Prevention and Court Services Program to allow licensed counselors to participate on the evaluation team for court-ordered Developmental Disability evaluations. This change is proposed as an effort to reduce workload burden among state social workers by sharing duties with licensed counselors in the department.  You can read the bill HERE.

Photo: Betsy Russell/Idaho Press


Introduced Monday was HB 342. The bill removes statutory barriers and clarifies terminology.  Included in the bill is remote patient monitoring through the added language “including but not limited to a patient’s home” in the definition of originating site.  The bill also clarifies the services provided under telehealth services to include “synchronous or asynchronous technologies by a provider to deliver patient health care services, including but not limited to…”. You can read the bill HERE.

Child Care Licensing

Introduced Monday was HB 340. This legislation offers exemption from licensing for residential programs that offer temporary alcohol-drug abuse treatment for those aged 13-17. The legislation is proposed as a solution to the lack of residential substance abused treatment for teens.  You can read the bill HERE.

House Revenue & Taxation Committee

Grocery Tax Credit

Introduced Wednesday in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee by Speaker Bedke was a grocery tax bill that would increase the Grocery Tax Credit for Idahoans (HB 352). Currently, the grocery tax credit allows taxpayers and dependents to offset the sales tax paid on groceries with a credit that amounts to $100 (or $120 for seniors). Under the proposed legislation, the tax credit would increase by $15 for seniors and $35 for others- This would put the tax credit at a flat amount of $135 for everyone. You can read the bill HERE.

JFAC Update

Monday, January 27, is the start of the Department of Health and Welfare’s budget hearing with the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC).  The Department of Health and Welfare director, Dave Jeppesen, will kick off the hearing with an overview.

Bill Tracker

Do you have any specific Bills you would like to be tracked throughout the session?  If so, please reach out and I will gladly track them through this weekly update. You can also view all current bills HERE

Bill No


Last Action


Adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Idaho Human Rights Act

01/15 Reported Printed; referred to State Affairs


Amends existing law to revise the income tax credit for food sales

1/23 Reported Printed; referred to Revenue & Taxation


TELEHEALTH – Amends existing law to define ”telehealth technologies” and to revise provisions regarding telehealth services

1/21 Reported Printed and Referred to Health and Welfare


DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING - Amends existing law to revise terminology regarding persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

01/24 U.C. to hold place on third reading calendar until 1/27


HEALTH - Amends existing law to revise the definition of “evaluation committee,” thereby permitting licensed professional counselors to serve on committees evaluating individuals for developmental disabilities

01/24 U.C. to hold place on third reading calendar until 1/27


CHILD CARE LICENSING – Amends existing law to define “temporary alcohol-drug abuse treatment facility.

01/21 Reported Printed and Referred to Health and Welfare

Upcoming Events & Advocacy Days

Monday, January 27, 2020: ACS CANS Idaho with American Cancer Society. Details HERE.

Monday, February 3, 2020: AARP’s Lobby Day. Details HERE.

Thursday, February 6, 2020: Foster Care Awareness Day with Idaho Voices for Children. Details HERE.

Monday – Tuesday, February 10 & 11, 2020: 2020 Alzheimer’s Association’s Advocacy Day. Details & Registration HERE.

Saturday, February 15, 2020: 9th Annual Family Caregiver Conference. Details HERE.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020: 2nd Annual ICA Legislative Luncheon, 11:00-1:00, first floor of Capitol Rotunda

Here is a MAP OF FREE VISITOR PARKING at the Capitol. 

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