A Republican-backed plan to ban youth under the age of 14 from entering indoor tanning booths cleared the Idaho House Tuesday, and now hits the Senate for consideration.
The measure, written by Reps. John Vander Woude, R-Nampa, and Fred Wood, R-Burley, cleared the chamber on a 47 to 23 tally.
Vander Woude, the lead sponsor, told colleagues the measure is a compromise proposal and allows parents to make tanning decisions for older teens.
The plan restricts tanning for teens from 14 to 18 unless they have parental consent. Anyone found violating the proposal could face a misdemeanor charge for the first offense, along with a $500 fine. If an offender violates the proposal a second time within a year, he could face a fine of up to $1,000.
Vander Woude’s bill would add tanning to a section of state law that applies the same restrictions on tattooing, branding and piercing for youth.
Wood told legislators the bill is merely an education tool.
“This is not the heavy hand of government,” Wood told colleagues.
The bill doesn’t address spray-on tans of Jersey Shore fame, nor does it address privately owned indoor tanning beds.
Industry insiders reject the plan, and have told IdahoReporter.com they do enough to police themselves and warn all their customers about the risks of tanning.
The bill may find a soft landing spot in the Senate, where one-seventh of the members sponsor the plan. That list includes Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, and Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.