Prior to 2009, the state of Idaho historically offered no certification or licensure but direct entry midwives have long been recognized in the Idaho code. Midwives were instructed to test for syphilis prenatally, administer eye ointment in the newborn’s eyes, perform newborn metabolic screening testing on the baby and file birth certificates in a timely manner. Midwives who wished to be professionally recognized and have their skills verified sought certification through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and became Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs).
Several years ago, Idaho midwives realized that the time had come to seek licensure. Senate Bill 1145 Midwifery Voluntary Licensure Act, was presented to the Idaho legislature in the 2007 session but did not make it out of committee. After much rewriting, House Bill 488 Midwifery Voluntary License, was introduced to the 2008 House and was favorably received by many members of the House Health and Welfare Committee, but was pulled due to some problems which needed to be addressed. During 2008, IMC’s legislative committee worked tirelessly with organizations such as Idaho Medical Association, Idaho Perinatal Project and professional associations and boards to achieve a “consensus bill” which all would be able to support or regard as neutral.
House Bill 185 An Act Relating to Midwifery was introduced to the Idaho House early in 2009, was passed out of the House State Affairs Committee on February 26 unanimously and with no opposition and passed the Idaho House on March 3. The bill passed the Senate Health & Welfare Committee (7 to 1) on March 16 and the Idaho Senate (32 to 3) on March 25. It was presented to Governor Otter on March 26 and was signed into law on April 1, 2009.
With the passage of House Bill 185 in April 2009, midwives now are required to become licensed in the State of Idaho.
The Idaho Midwifery Law may be accessed here.
We would like to especially thank the following people and groups who assisted greatly in our long legislative journey:
- Barbara Rawlings, Michelle Bartlett, Paula Wiens and other members of the Idaho Midwifery Council
- Rep. Janice McGeachin, our House sponsor, and the many supportive members in the Idaho House
- Senator Shawn Keough, our Senate sponsor, and the many supportive members in the Idaho Senate
- Idahoans for Midwives
- NARM Chair Ida Darragh
- Lobbyists Kris Ellis and Larry Benton
- Idaho Perinatal Project, Idaho Medical Association and other professional associations and boards
Legislative Update: March 2011
As of the March 1, 2011, the legislation to allow LM’ s a designation to become Medicaid providers has passed through the House Health & Welfare committee and the full House of Representatives, each time with a unanimous vote. Now the bill is headed for the Senate, where we will hopefully meet with the same success. We thank Michelle Bartlett for all her work, Kris Ellis & Larry Benton (our wonderful hard working lobbyists), as well as all of you who continue to contact your clients and legislators to move the process along. Hopefully, by the time you receive this newsletter we will have more good news to share!
Legislative Update: March 2014
Sunset Review Passed!!!!
We would like to thank the following people and groups who assisted GREATLY in our sunset review:
Barbara Rawlings, Paula Wiens, Legislative Comm: Barb, Nancy, Rachel Elling, and Katy Rawlins) as well as the IMC Board. And thank you all who were faithful to send out birth announcements to our legislators, as well as the numerous e-mails along the way. Good Job!!!!