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UPDATE: Inside the Statehouse: Senate passes COVID-19 Liability Immunity bill after it passes House

Posted at 7:05 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 22:09:51-04

BOISE, Idaho — UPDATE:
The immunity bill passed the Senate. Two senators, Nye and Burgoyne, voted "no."

Original:

The full Senate is currently considering a bill by Rep. Juilianne Young, R-Blackfoot, called the COVID-19 Liability Immunity bill.

It passed the full House Wednesday after several hours of testimony in the House Judiciary Committee — mostly from folks in opposition.

This bill would temporarily make businesses, cities, counties, school districts, universities and churches immune from civil liability for damages due to a person’s exposure to coronavirus.

One business owner shared why she feels it’s unnecessary.

“Businesses and schools do not need immunity for this virus any more than they did for H2N2, H3N2, or H1N1. The hysteria really just needs to stop here, right now, please vote against immunity for compliance by voting no on this bill," said Monica McKinley, a business owner in the Treasure Valley.

One North Idaho lawmaker disagreed — arguing the bill would benefit the economy.

“I think we need to give our schools and our businesses confidence that they can reopen, and allow the public back in, that they don’t need to be afraid of their customers and they don’t need to be afraid of their employees," said Rep. Caroline Troy, R-Genesee.

The full House passed the COVID-19 liability immunity bill 54 to 15, with most Republicans in favor, although Representatives Zollinger and Wood joined the democrats in voting "no."

Prior to this, the bill passed out of committee with a 13 to 4 vote for “do pass” recommendation.

You can watch and listen in on the Senate hearing here.