Available Soon: Request your printed copies of the Idaho Freedom Index mailed to you!
Request Your Copies
Note to Dustin: This is currently only visible to logged in users for testing.
Click Me!
video could not be found

House Bill 655 — Illicit substance tracking portal

House Bill 655 — Illicit substance tracking portal

Parrish Miller
March 1, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 655 would create an illicit substance tracking portal in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Rating: -2

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

House Bill 655 would create Section 56-1056, Idaho Code, to instruct the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to "establish and provide support for a statewide illicit drug tracking portal for restricted access by municipal, county, and state law enforcement agencies and public health officials to monitor the incidence and emergence of illicit addictive drugs to address the substance use disorder epidemic."

This is an expansion of government. 


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

The fiscal note for House Bill 655 says the impact will be "$300,000 to create and operate the illicit drug tracking portal" But this fails to account for ongoing operational costs. The long-term costs of new government systems always eclipse the optimistic estimates at their creation. 

The bill says, "The department may contract with an organization to develop and manage the database and web portal and may contract with treatment providers and laboratories to provide qualified data." This language refers to an initial development contract, an ongoing management contract, and the possibility of numerous additional contracts to provide data. Again, the fiscal note fails to fully explain the costs these contracts would impose on Idaho taxpayers. 


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 655 says the new statewide illicit drug tracking portal will collect "current, statewide, geomarked, de-identified, definitive drug testing data from laboratories and treatment providers around the state."

Government data collection always creates privacy concerns. The bill says the data will be "de-identified," but geomarked data provided from a specific testing facility on a specific date could still potentially be linked to specific individuals. This bill could be improved including a robust data protection policy. 


Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
COPYRIGHT © 2024 Idaho freedom Foundation
magnifiercrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram