Tanning Bill Dies, Massage Bill Passes at Statehouse


This past week, Idaho lawmakers considered two very different type of parlors - massage and tanning.

The Idaho House voted 39-29 to approve a bill that requires massage therapists to be certified through training and a state-issued license. The measure heads to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.

Meanwhile, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee killed the much-debated measure that aimed to restrict indoor tanning by minors. Lewiston Democratic Rep. John Rusche had amended the bill several times, but insisted that children 15 and younger should be banned from using commercial tanning beds, citing increased rates of melanoma from the practice. Rusche said restricting underage tanning-bed use could have saved seven to 10 lives per year.

The American Cancer Society, the Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians and the Idaho Medical Association all supported Rusche's bill, but instead, the committee's majority opted to side with lobbyists for the tanning industry, who said the bill was "an overreach of government."

Ultimately, the bill died by a 5-3 vote.