Idaho Governor Receives Thousands of Calls Seeking Action on Transgender Health Care Bill

Idaho Governor Receives Thousands of Calls Seeking Action on Transgender Health Care Bill

Idaho Governor Brad Little has until Wednesday morning to decide whether to sign or veto one of the state’s most controversial bills this session.

House Bill 71 would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth, including puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries. (Surgery is already not performed on transgender youth, Idaho health care providers said in their testimony.) It would also make it a crime for any doctor to help a minor seek treatment claiming his genre.

Little received the bill on Thursday, after she passed in the Idaho House of Representatives in a 58-12 vote and in a 22-12 vote in the Idaho Senate. He has until Wednesday 10:35 a.m. to make a decision. He could also choose not to sign or veto, in which case the bill would become law by default.

Little’s press secretary Madison Hardy told the Idaho Capital Sun that since both houses passed the bill, Little’s office has been inundated with calls urging the governor to sign it or oppose it. his veto.

“The governor’s office regularly receives calls, emails and letters from constituents regarding pending legislation throughout the session,” she said in an email. “House Bill 71 has spurred more voter contact — calls, emails, letters — than any piece of legislation this year.”

As of Tuesday morning, Hardy said, the governor’s office received more than 14,800 emails and calls supporting the bill and more than 6,500 calls and emails asking Little to veto the bill. Of these, 3,200 were phone calls in favor and 1,500 were phone calls against the bill.

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Hardy said the high call volume prevented staffers from reaching out to people interested in matters unrelated to Bill 71. So to free up the phone lines, the governor’s office worked with its IT departments. to set up an automated telephone tree system to allow callers to cast their vote without speaking to a member of staff.

One of the challenges the bureau faced was how many of those calls came from Idaho voters or people from other states, Hardy said.

“Although our office asks for zip code information on our email form, there is no mechanism to verify the caller’s residence,” she said. “Staff members routinely asked the caller for his zip code but could not confirm that the caller was a resident of Idaho with absolute certainty.”

Conservative groups urge Idaho residents to voice support for House Bill 71

At least two conservative organizations that have led Idaho’s legislative efforts urged their supporters to contact the governor’s office to support Bill 71.

Blaine Conzatti, Chairman of the Conservative Christian Party Idaho Family Policy Centertold the Idaho Capital Sun that his organization had launched a “massive grassroots mobilization campaign” to encourage Idahoans to contact the governor’s office to support the bill.

So far, nearly 2,500 Idaho residents have emailed Governor Little through our online action center, which has been promoted through our email newsletter and social media ads. “, he said in an email on Tuesday. “Additionally, we initiated a nearly $5,000 robocall with automatic hookup to the governor’s phone lines.”

In addition to Conzatti’s organization, the The Idaho Freedom Foundation organized a separate petition on its website urging Idahoans to contact Little’s office.

Between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, the governor’s office received 21 automated petition emails from the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s website, according to emails obtained in response to an Idaho public records request. Capital Sun. In the automated email, the organization calls transgender health care for minors “barbaric”.

A community organization is working on a campaign to veto the bill

Add the words Idaho executive director Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln told the Idaho Capital Sun that her organization has promoted an education campaign to tell Idahoans about the bill and urge them to contact Little to veto the bill.

“Since it passed the Senate, I have received several phone calls from parents who are frantic and almost hysterical when they call me – in tears, terrified for their trans teenager and the impacts of this bill and what will happen to them and their families if they do not have access to medicine for their children,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s terrifying, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

Gaona-Lincoln said people between the ages of 13 and 80 have reached out to her asking how they can get involved to support campaign efforts.

“Taking someone off their meds won’t stop them from being trans,” Gaona-Lincoln said. “This bill is going to be a catalyst for a health crisis, not only because doctors are going to leave the state, but it will be a kind of crisis mode for our young trans people who will not have access to the care that they need. need and deserve.

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