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Senate Bill 1051

Senate Bill 1051

Phil Haunschild
February 10, 2017

Bill description: This bill prohibits property owners from denying support animals admittance.

Rating: -1

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? 

By passing this regulation, government is determining admission policy for cafes, restaurants, hotels and other businesses. Currently, under 18-5812A, Idaho Code, anyone who denies use or admittance to a person with a service dog can be charged with a misdemeanor. The new bill would expand the statute to allow the state to charge someone for denying admittance or service to anyone with a support animal. The new definition for a support animal would be; “an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a mental or emotional disability or that provides emotional support that alleviates one (1) or more symptoms or effects of the person's mental or emotional disability.”

This bill does not specify what kind of animal might be in support. In 2008, a district court in Arizona, ruled an owner’s diabetic disability was not reason enough to allow him to use of a chimpanzee as a support animal. The court ruled the large size and strength of the chimpanzee posed a possible threat to the public. The variety of service animals is increasing. Guide horses are becoming more popular. Pigs are commonly trained, as are cats, ferrets, parrots, monkeys and iguanas. Forcing business owners to admit these kinds of animals takes away their ability to determine how they want to manage their businesses. These businesses would be discouraging the patronage of customers allergic to or threatened by the presence of these animals. (-1)

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