Gov. Butch Otter will soon decide if Idaho will ban indoor tanning for youth under the age of 14.
The Idaho Senate approved the ban bill Thursday after its lead sponsor, Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, said the measure would protect Gem State youth from cancer.
“The science is there,” Hagedorn said. “The science supports this.”
The bill lumps indoor tanning in state code with piercing, tattooing and branding to block youth access. Teens between the ages of 14 and 18 would need parental consent to use an indoor tanning bed at a business.
The legislation exempts private tanning beds Idahoans might have in their own homes.
It also doesn’t address outdoor sunbathing by youth.
Those found in violation of the law would face up to a $500 fine for the first offense. If a violator breaks the law a second time within a year of the first offense, he faces a fine of up to $1,000.
Sen. Sheryll Nuxoll, R-Grangeville, said the bill is exceedingly restrictive and impedes parents’ rights.
“Where do we start and stop?” she asked. “I still feel this is a parental decision that should be made by the parents.”
Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, rejected that argument, telling colleagues the bill is actually a measure to preserve parents’ rights.
Interestingly enough, Hagedorn told colleagues no one has ever been convicted of violating the youth ban for tattoos, piercings and brandings. “No one ever has ever been charged because no one does it,” Hagedorn said.
“It’s the law.”
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