The Idaho Senate passed a strengthened anti-stalking bill Tuesday on a 31-3 vote, sending it to the House for consideration.
The measure would allow any victim of stalking or harassment, including repeated threatening telephone calls, to seek court-ordered protection. As of now, Idaho law only provides for issuing protection orders to people in a domestic or family relationship with their stalker.
Sponsored by Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, the bill is a response to the case of a Boise woman who last year unsuccessfully sought protection orders against a man who eventually shot her.
Two senators, Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, a lawyer in family law, and Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, a criminal defense lawyer, questioned the scope of the proposed change as overly broad.
But Sen Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, a former prosecutor, said he had seen “lots of examples where this type of protection order is needed” and said the expanded law gave judges ample room for discretion in awarding them.
Sen. Sherry Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, said the measure was “something that is needed” but voted no because “I would like to see more consensus with the lawyers here.”
The line drew unintended laughs.
“Even the ones out of Canyon County would be helpful,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the Senate President.