Idaho, Georgia lawmakers introduce bill to allow citizens to choose to file for a limited guardianships
Idaho lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow citizens in Idaho to choose whether or not they want to file a limited guardian, a measure that has been controversial since the state passed a law in 2016 that limited citizens’ rights to choose their guardians.
The Idaho Senate is expected to vote on the bill this week, and it would allow limited guardians to seek a temporary restraining order if they believe that a guardian should not be able to take on their duties because they are mentally ill or otherwise impaired.
Idahoans who have been in a relationship for more than one year will also be able request a temporary guardianship order for an adult relative who is also in a committed relationship.
“I think it’s time to bring a little bit of sanity back to the state,” said Senator Michael B. Henson, a Republican who is sponsoring the bill.
The legislation, sponsored by Representative Michael C. Smith, a Democrat, would allow individuals to seek temporary guardianships if they cannot handle the responsibility and cannot control their own finances.
It would also allow individuals with a mental illness to request a guardianship if they are unable to care for themselves.
The proposed legislation has received bipartisan support in Idaho.
“The Idaho Legislature has taken the necessary steps to ensure that Idahoans have the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones when it comes to their rights,” Henson said in a statement.
The bill has received broad bipartisan support and support from the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, the Idaho NAACP, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Northwest Idaho Conference of Governments, the Southeast Idaho Alliance for Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.