Idaho has an open legislative process so all committee action on bills and amendments are conducted in open sessions, which means members of the public are welcome to attend any of these meetings throughout the session.

If you are interested in what is happening during the current legislative session, please visit this link to view the Senate and House Reading Calendars & Committee Meeting Agendas. These agendas provide daily updates on what content is being considered in each committee. Behavioral health legislation is commonly presented to these germane committees:

2020 Legislative-Related and Rule Changes Updates

[Posted 10/5/2020] The following notices are a result of Executive Order 2020-13 to make the previously suspended or waived rules permanent where reasonable. Click on the Docket number below to go to Office of the Administrative Rules (OAR) website to review the Bulletin notice for changes or notices about rulemaking.

  • 16-0307-2001– 16.03.07 – HOME HEALTH AGENCIES – Proposed Rule
  • 16-0321-2001 – 16.03.21 – DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AGENCIES (DDA) – Proposed Rule
  • 16-0417-2001 – 16.04.17 – RESIDENTIAL HABILITATION AGENCIES – Proposed Rule

Past Legislative News

Opportunity to Weigh in on Rule Change:
The public is invited to submit comment on these proposed rule changes. Please send your comments in or attend a meeting in-person or via phone. Dates of meetings and due dates of submitted comments listed below each proposed rule change. Please select links below to learn more information (No opportunities to show at this time).

Idaho House Panel Revives Health Care Proposal – posted 3/19/18

2018 Legislative Talking Points from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Division of Behavioral Health

2019 Proposed Rule/Statute Changes

IDAPA Rule Changes Initiated

DBH is proposing changes to IDAPA administrative rule for the 2019 Legislative session. These changes include: IDAPA 16.07.37 “Children’s Mental Health Services”

  • The intent of the rule change is to update DSM language and remove the requirement to refer parents to Child Support for payment calculation and payment arrangement when placing a child in alternate care.

IDAPA 16.07.50 “Minimum Standards for Nonhospital, Medically Monitored Detoxification/Mental Health Services”

  • The intent of the rule change is to: update limited sections of the rule that are outdated and no longer reflect best practice, update staffing requirements and align program approval process and fees with other DBH rules.

Proposed Change to CMH Act
DBH is also proposing a change to the definition of Serious Emotional Disturbance in the Children’s Mental Health Act to align with definitions used in the YES program and found in the rules for CMH service. The amended definition would include reference to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual and the DHW standardized functional assessment tool. The proposed changes to the rules and CMH Act are available for review on the DHW website at and

Changes to Disqualifying Criteria for Department Background Checks
On August 23, the Department made an amendment to Temporary rules that became effective on July 1, 2017. The amended rules were approved by the state’s Health & Welfare board. They are now Pending until they are reviewed and approved by the State Legislature in early 2019.

A Temporary rule enables the Department to implement changes to its processes when there is an element of urgency that could impact adversely the safety of the vulnerable if not corrected as soon as possible.

In our case, we have taken this unusual step because after one year of operations with the 2017 background check rules, our stakeholders have indicated that, in retrospect, applicant conduct that leads to a substantiated event that is recorded in the State’s Central Child Protection Registry is indicative of a general predisposition of the applicant of not being able to care for the vulnerable appropriately.

You might recall that with the 2017 rules, persons that were going through a standard background check were passing it even if they were listed in the state’s Central Child Protection Registry with a Substantiated Level 1 or Level 2 Child Protection Event.

Because our stakeholders have expressed serious concerns with that, today, the Department received approval to re-add Idaho Central Child Protection Registry events that are substantiated as a Level 1 or Level 2 as disqualifiers for clearances that are not Enhanced by making the appropriate changes to the rules.

What this means is that, as of today, persons that are being processed for a standard background check (not Enhanced) will not pass the background check if they are listed in Idaho’s Child Protection Central Registry with a Level 1 or 2. These persons will be issued an Unconditional Denial.

The disqualifying criteria for persons that are being processed for an Enhanced back-ground check is not changed. For those applicants, being listed in any Child Protection Registry, including Idaho’s, at any level, will also result in receiving an Unconditional Denial

The new Department background check rules ( IDAPA 16.05.06, Criminal History and Background Checks) with the new disqualifying criteria will be available for your review in a few business days at this web site. We encourage you to review them at the earliest possible opportunity: