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Winder: HB 666 on librarians won't get Senate hearing, trans youth bill likely won't either

House-passed legislation to criminalize librarians if a minor checks out something with objectionable content will not get a hearing in the Senate, Winder said.
Credit: KTVB
Sen. Chuck Winder

BOISE, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press

Controversial House-passed legislation to criminalize librarians if a minor checks out something with objectionable content will not get a hearing in the Senate, Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder told reporters today, and the newly passed anti-trans youth treatment bill likely won’t either. 

“If I were a betting person, I’d give it pretty low odds of advancing,” Winder, R-Boise, told the Idaho Press Club today.

Winder joined Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, and House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise at the on-the-record virtual luncheon with reporters; House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, also had been scheduled to participate but backed out as the event started.

Asked by reporters about HB 666, the bill go after what backers called “smut” in Idaho libraries, Winder said, “I do not see the chamber picking this one up. I do not see it getting a hearing in committee. I think it’s very appropriately numbered, 666.” 

“I think it’s mischief, and something that doesn’t need to happen,” Winder said. “We have a tendency to ask a lot of questions in the Senate, and I think in this case, 666 is not likely to be heard. I assigned it to State Affairs for good reason. … I don’t think it advances.”

“We don’t really tell our chairmen what to put in their drawer or not to put in their drawer,” Winder said. “But there are a lot of bills, probably moreso than normal, that are in drawers around our side of the building. I think most of them will stay there.”

“So I don’t think you’ll see some of the craziness that the House seems to like to do get very far in the Senate,” he said.

Rubel responded, “I want to thank the pro tem for that. That’s music to my ears. … There are a number of things that were sent over by the House that justly belong in drawers.”

She said to her, that includes HB 442, the bill to erase Boise’s local ordinances regulating rental application fees and forbid any such local regulations, especially after the House killed a follow-up bill to curb specific abuses of rental application fees statewide. “To me, you can’t take away the local ability to regulate, and then refuse to take away abusive practices at the state level,” Rubel said. “It would just be punishing renters to no avail.”

Asked specifically about HB 675, the bill that would make gender therapy, including hormones, for transgender youth a felony for doctors and for parents who permit their kids to be treated, Winder said, “We haven’t really discussed it on our side, we just got it. But I think, like 666, I don’t think there’s a significant drumbeat for it.”

It was at that point that Winder made his comment that he’d “give it pretty low odds of advancing.”

Stennett said, “I would hope that it gains no traction.”

“To treat families and parents and kids of any kind, but particularly those that are on the margins in society, for not supporting them and instead demonizing them I think is just hateful,” she said.

Rubel said HB 675 has done “substantial damage … just by virtue of it having been brought this far.”

“I’m hearing from a lot of families who have trans kids who are traumatized by this and are wondering if they need to leave the state,” she said.

I’ll update this post later today with more from the event.

This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.

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