BOISE — A bill to set a minimum marriage age of 16 is headed to the Idaho Senate.
The House voted 55-2 Friday to pass the bill. Sponsored by Reps. Barbara Ehardt and Bryan Zollinger, both R-Idaho Falls, the bill would also limit 16- and 17-year-olds to marrying someone within three years of them in age. Idaho is one of about a dozen states that has no minimum marriage age currently.
The House voted down a similar bill in 2019. The difference between this one and last year’s, which was sponsored by Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, is that Wintrow’s would have required a judge to sign off for a 16- or 17-year-old to marry. Zollinger and Ehardt’s would only require parental consent, which is the current law.
The House also voted unanimously to pass a bill sponsored by Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, to ban registered sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a child care. Current law only bans them from living within 500 feet of a school. The bill would exempt people living at a homeless shelter or drug treatment facility located within 500 feet of a school, as well as sex offenders who are living in their residence before the law takes effect.