Bill Description: House Bill 396 would bar the state and its political subdivisions from requiring people to use face masks or other face coverings to prevent or slow the spread of a disease.
NOTE: House Bill 396 is nearly identical to House Bill 631 from the 2022 session, which passed the House 46-24 but not addressed by the Senate.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?
House Bill 396 would create Section 67-2360, Idaho Code, to prohibit the state or political subdivisions within the state from requiring any person to "use a face mask, face shield, or other face covering for the purpose of preventing or slowing the spread of a contagious or infectious disease."
It also says, "A face mask, face shield, or face covering shall not be required by the state, a political subdivision, or an official as a condition for entry, education, employment, or other services."
Finally, it establishes that, "If the state, a political subdivision, or an official recommends using a face mask, face shield, or face covering to prevent or slow the spread of a contagious or infectious disease, such recommendation shall be accompanied by a notice that the recommendation is not mandatory."
Prohibiting government mask mandates will allow businesses to set their own policies for their customers rather than being required to enforce a government mandate.
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?
Prohibiting government mask mandates in Idaho will increase access to the market for individuals who cannot or choose not to wear masks.
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?
In many places, failing to abide by a mask mandate is either an infraction or a misdemeanor. Prohibiting government mask mandates will protect people who don't wear masks from potential penalties.
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?
Prohibiting government mask mandates protects individual liberty and self-ownership by allowing people to make their own choices about mask wearing.
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