The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise, Idaho.

New Idaho Laws in Effect July 1

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By Sarah Clendenon of Idaho Dispatch

BOISE, Idaho – Nearly all laws passed during an Idaho legislative session go into effect on July 1 of the same year. The entire list of laws passed in the 2024 session can be found here. We highlight several of interest here.

House Bill 406 – In order to minimize theft, injury, and death from the use of the drug fentanyl, the legislature imposed mandatory minimum sentencing for the trafficking of fentanyl. It also added a new section of law creating the felony crime of “drug-induced homicide.”

House Bill 417 – All agencies, boards, commissions, officials, and departments of the state who accept payments must accept cash without imposing any additional fees because of the use of cash.

Senate Bill 1232 – When the Idaho Department of Welfare initiates a child protection investigation, this new law ensures parents are notified of their rights. Parents now must be told they have the right to:

(a) Refuse to answer questions;
(b) Obtain an attorney at their own expense, consult with such attorney, and have such attorney present during an investigation; provided, however, that the department is not authorized to appoint or obtain an attorney for such parents, guardians, or persons;
(c) Refuse entry to their home or other real property; and
(d) Refuse the questioning of any minor children in their home or on their property, unless there is an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction authorizing a particular entry or particular questioning or examination.

Senate Bill 1274 – Diversity statements may not be required for hiring or promotion decisions in Idaho colleges. The legislature wrote,

“Hiring and admissions decisions at any public postsecondary educational institution in the state of Idaho shall be made on merit. Hiring and admissions decisions shall not be conditioned on a requirement that applicants submit or ascribe to a diversity statement. No public postsecondary educational institution in the state of Idaho shall require or solicit a diversity statement as part of an admissions process, employment application process, hiring process, contract renewal process, or promotion process or as a condition of participation in any administrative or decision-making function of the institution.”

House Bill 498 – In an attempt to protect children from dangerous internet content, the Idaho legislature passed House Bill 498. It says in part,

“The provisions of this chapter are intended to provide a civil remedy for damages against commercial entities that publish or distribute material that is harmful to minors on the internet. The legislature finds that pornography is creating a public health crisis and having a corroding influence on minors.

…it is the intent of the legislature to enable a minor person, or the parent or guardian of such person, who is exposed to harmful material on the internet to bring an action to recover damages.”

Senate Bill 1317 – This bill establishes a “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate. The funds from the sale of the new plates will support a gun safety education program.

House Bill 617 – Repeals the Syringe and Needle Exchange Act, which was passed in 2019.

House Bill 668 – With this bill, the legislature declared that no public money can be used for gender transition procedures or surgeries.

“The Legislature finds that the surgical operations and medical procedures described in section 18-1506C(3), Idaho Code, when used for purposes of altering the appearance of an individual in order to affirm the individual’s perception of the individual’s sex in a way that is inconsistent with the individual’s biological sex, carry substantial risks and have known harmful effects, including irreversible physical alterations and, in some cases, sterility and lifelong sexual dysfunction.


Public funds shall not be used, granted, paid, or distributed to any entity, organization, or individual for the provision or subsidy of any surgical operation or medical intervention described in section 18-1506C(3), Idaho Code, for purposes of altering the appearance of an individual in order to affirm the individual’s perception of the individual’s sex in a way that is inconsistent with the individual’s biological sex regardless of whether the surgical operation or medical intervention is administered to a minor or an adult, except for exempted surgical operations or medical interventions.”

House Bill 597 – This new law establishes that vaccine exemptions are available to all students in Idaho, of any age, at all public and private schools including colleges and universities.

“Any student of majority age who submits a signed statement to school officials stating the student’s objections on religious or other grounds shall be exempt from any or all immunization requirements at every public, private, or parochial school in this state, including postsecondary, trade, college, university, or any other institute of primary, secondary, or higher learning.”

House Bill 710 – With this bill, the legislature instructs public libraries and public school libraries to prevent children from having access to certain books and materials. The statement of purpose explained,

“The Children’s School and Library Protection Act requires public schools and community libraries to take reasonable steps in restricting children’s access to obscene or harmful material. A parent or guardian of a minor child who accesses such material in violation of this policy would be entitled to bring a civil action against the school or library for damages and injunctive relief.”

The Idaho Democratic Party is so opposed to this new law, they are holding events at Boise libraries on July 1. You can find the information here.

“Come show your support for Boise librarians on July 1st! House Bill 710 is taking effect this day – a law that requires Idaho libraries to move books deemed inappropriate to an adult’s only section. This is detrimental as many libraries now must create these sections, many not having the means to do so. Come stand in solidarity and show that we do not support radical laws that ban books.”

This article originally published on Idaho Dispatch.