Bill Description: House Bill 393 adds language to clarify that restrictions placed on the right of individuals to work during a state of disaster emergency must be narrowly tailored to protect life or property.
Analyst Note: House Bill 393 is one of three bills introduced at the end of the 2021 legislative session in an attempt to pass some of the protections for individual rights contained in House Bill 135, which was vetoed by the governor.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
House Bill 392 amends Section 46-1008(1), Idaho Code, to say that "orders, proclamations, or rules" issued during a state of disaster emergency "must be essential to protect life or property from the occurrence or imminent threat of the state of disaster emergency threatening the safety of persons or property within the state and must be narrowly tailored to effectively protect life or property without placing unnecessary restrictions on the ability for a person or persons, regardless of job type or classification, to work, provide for their families, or otherwise contribute to the economy of the state of Idaho."
This language is a positive recognition of the individual right to work, but its use of subjective terms such as "essential to protect," "narrowly tailored to effectively protect," and "unnecessary restrictions" could be improved. Such terminology leaves significant room for interpretation, and the panic of 2020 clearly revealed that cowardly politicians are willing to use even the most minor of perceived risks as pretexts for all manner of intolerable tyranny.
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