March 7, 2021

3/1/2019 – Child marriage laws in Idaho (House Bill 98 / House Bill 170)

Two things happened yesterday that I feel undermine children’s safety. Idaho leads the nation in child marriage – it is legal here for a 40 year old to marry a 14 year old. Rep. Melissa Wintrow brought HB98 yesterday to raise the marriage age to 16 to conform to statutory rape laws, but it was shot down on the Floor.

Then, immediately afterward, the House passed HB170, which would prevent a Child Protection Services agent from asking children any questions without a warrant or parental permission. This could severely hamper the investigation of genuine child abuse, even when injuries or abuse are in plain view. It’s on its way to the Senate.