If county officials in Idaho followed the law literally, each of the 44 counties would operate a poor farm.
A state law still requires counties to run poor farms in connection with county hospitals. People who couldn't pay their hospital bills could work their debts away.The law is one of many that Bannock County Commissioner Val Arvas and six other Idaho county commissioners are working to change. They are reviewing outdated county laws for an interim legislative committee working on recodification of county laws.
Most of the laws have not come under close scrutiny since the late 1800s and early 1900s, she said.
"It's quite a job to tackle and perhaps that's why the legislature hasn't done this sooner," Arvas said
In a Boise workshop with the Idaho Association of Counties, Arvas and commissioners from Canyon, Latah, Lemhi, Kootenai, Shoshone and Twin Falls reviewed about half of Idaho's laws on counties.
They plan to finish the review this month. Recommendations for changes will go to the legislative committee in August.