Following a lengthy hearing on birth control restrictions, the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee is taking up another issue receiving robust testimony: a measure that would ban minors from indoor tanning parlors.
Lobbyist Jerry Deckard, representing something called the Idaho Indoor Tanning Association, asked lawmakers:
"Who gets cited here? Operators? Users? Parents? A 17-year-old can drive a car yet they can't get a sun tan?"
Wayne Hoffman, whose Idaho Freedom Foundation has been spending a lot of its energy this legislative session in opposing the Affordable Care Act, took to the microphone to oppose the ban.
"At what level do parents still matter in raising their children?" asked Hoffman. "On so many levels, we have found new ways for that to not happen. That's flat-out wrong."
But Republican Rep. Ken Roberts of Donnelly quizzed Hoffman:
"Would you recommend that we remove the drinking age from Idaho code?"
Hoffman said "Frankly, we're talking about tanning booths today. Tomorrow it will be the meals that kids eat."
Roberts repeated his question, saying, "I would like Mr. Hoffman to answer my question, yes or no."
To which Hoffman replied, "Parental involvement beats governmental involvement any day of the week."
Ultimately, the bill passed through the committee and heads to the full House for any amendments, including one proposal that would lower the fine to $500.