- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho lawmakers are once again taking up legislation that would require parental permission for teens to use tanning beds, after failing to pass the measure in past years.

The House Health and Welfare Committee voted to introduce the bill Friday, which would apply to children from 14 until 18 years old. Children under 14 would be restricted completely.

The plan would align rules for tanning beds with similar state laws for tattoos and piercings.

Similar bills were introduced in 2012 and 2013, but didn’t pass.

Chairman Rep. Fred Wood says that he and Majority Caucus Chair Rep. John Vander Woude, who were divided in the past, have reached a compromise. They plan to sponsor the bill together.

The House passed a bill three years ago to restrict tanning for minors under 16 and require parental permission for 16- and 17-year-olds. But it died in a Senate committee.

The year after that, the bill featured lower fines, but the full House voted it down.

Wood says that a spike in skin cancer can be directly attributed to radiation.

“Skin cancer is not rising - it is skyrocketing,” he said. “This is a real legitimate issue that can be documented by scientific evidence.”

Minority Leader Rep. John Rusche from Lewiston asked why the state was letting teens tan at all, since it restricts smoking and drinking completely.

“Why are we allowing parents to give permission for cancer-causing radiation?” he asked.

Wood said experts would give the committee more information at a full hearing next Wednesday.

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