House Bill 151 — Charitable bail organization

House Bill 151 — Charitable bail organization

by
Parrish Miller
February 17, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 151 defines a new form of a nonprofit — the charitable bail organization — and imposes a licensing mandate; it also forbids courts from accepting a bail bond or cash deposit posted by an unlicensed charitable bail organization.

Rating: -2

Analyst Note: A charitable organization that raises bail money is not engaging in commerce and does not require regulation. Raising money, bringing communities together, and working to counter the harms of overcriminalization should not be uniquely regulated because they take the form of countering the regressive policy of pretrial detention. 

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?

House Bill 151 amends Section 19-2905, Idaho Code, to define a "charitable bail organization" as "a nonprofit corporation or person that solicits or accepts donations from the public and agrees to post a financial guarantee or cash deposit for bail for another person more than once in a one hundred eighty (180) day period." It further requires that such a producer be "licensed by the state of Idaho in the line of surety insurance to post charitable bail bonds for defendants charged with criminal offenses."

(-1)

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for nonviolent crimes? Conversely, does it eliminate or decrease penalties for victimless crimes or non-restorative penalties for non-violent crimes?

House Bill 151 amends Section 19-2907, Idaho Code, to stipulate that a "bail bond or cash deposit posted by a charitable bail organization" will constitute a sufficient surety to satisfy a court's bail requirement only if "the charitable bail organization is a producer licensed by the state of Idaho in the line of surety insurance to post charitable bail bonds for defendants charged with criminal offenses." 

It then states explicitly, "No charitable bail organization may post a bail bond or cash deposit unless so licensed by the state of Idaho to do so."

This mandate has the potential to deny individuals access to bail because a charitable entity raising money on their behalf may not be licensed with the state.

(-1)

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