Bonner Co. Commissioner suggests pulling Panhandle Health District’s funding in response to mask mandate

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BONNER CO., Idaho — A Bonner County Commissioner has proposed a motion to terminate funding to the Panhandle Health District.

Commissioner Steve Bradshaw introduced the proposal at a meeting Tuesday in response to the PHD Board’s decision to implement a mask mandate.

“Breath is the very essence of life,” Bradshaw said. “There is no human right more fundamental than the right to breathe.”

The board passed the mandate last Thursday, which requires people in all five N. Idaho counties – Bonner, Boundary, Benewah, Kootenai and Shoshone – to wear a mask when in public.

Bonner County Commissioners

“No government agency has the power to regulate this fundamental right,” Bradshaw said. “The citizens of Bonner County are not subject to any edict issued on the basis of such an illegitimate power.”

Bradshaw’s motion proposes to “terminate all future funding whatsoever to, or in support of, the Panhandle Health District.”

Additional details of Bradshaw’s proposal include:

  • No Bonner County agency shall enforce the mask mandate issued by PHD
  • No Bonner County funds shall be used in connection with any activity undertaken in the manner by any Bonner County employee to enforce the mask mandate

The full motion can be read below:

Bradshaw Resolution by Erin Robinson on Scribd

The motion is set to be put on the agenda for next week’s meeting.

Though Bradshaw’s motion directly relates to the PHD’s role in handling the pandemic, it is worth noting that the PHD offers additional community programs, like dental care, cancer screening and home health care.

RELATED: ‘Cannot enforce the unenforceable’: Bonner Co. Sheriff will not investigate mask mandate violations