Idaho Lawmaker: “Listening To Experts To Set Policy Is An Elitist Approach”

Sen. Steven Thayn (R-ID)Screengrab / InterMountain Christian News Dr. Harper / YouTube

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“We’re letting a few fearful people control the lives of those of us who are not fearful.”

According to Boise State Public Radio by NPR, a group of Idaho lawmakers “is pushing a bill that would strip the power of public health districts to close schools during an emergency or mandate masks to prevent the spread of disease.”

  • Members of the Education Working Group “overwhelmingly voted for the proposal” on Monday, and many lawmakers “said local school board members should be making these decisions, as opposed to public health district board members,” the report stated.
  • Sen. Steven Thayn (R-ID) was among those who supported the measure. “We’re letting a few fearful people control the lives of those of us who are not fearful,” he said.

“Listening to experts to set policy is an elitist approach and I’m very fearful of an elitist approach,” Thayn continued. “I’m also fearful that it leads to totalitarianism, especially when you say, ‘Well. We’re doing it for the public good.’”

  • Polls have “consistently shown most Americans support aggressive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including mask mandates,” the report said. And “a handful of legislators pushed back against the proposal - mostly Democrats.”

“This isn’t sacrificing individual liberty,” said Rep. Steve Berch (D-ID). “This is balancing the governance process with protecting the larger community."

  • The measure will go to House and Senate leadership, as well as the governor’s office, “as part of a package of proposals that could be taken up at this month’s special legislative session. A final decision by Gov. Brad Little (R) on what will be discussed is expected next week.”

Read the report here.

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