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Little signs emergency COVID-19 immunity law


A bill coming out of the special session of the Idaho Legislature limiting liability for COVID-19 is now in effect.

The 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.

Pro and con

“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.

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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.

Legislation passes

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.

The immunity bill then passed the Senate. Two senators, Nye and Burgoyne, voted no.

A spokesperson for Gov. Brad Little confirmed he signed the piece of legislation Thursday morning. The bill included an emergency provision making it effective immediately upon approval.

Little also signed a piece of legislation relating to this fall’s general election.

BoiseDev’s Don Day contributed reporting to this story.

Madeline White
Madeline White
Madeline White is a reporter for Idaho News 6.

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