The Idaho Senate has rejected HCR 34, the House-passed resolution recognizing community water fluoridation as a “significant public health achievement,” on a 16-18 vote. Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, asked the Senate, “How can we pass legislation like this where there’s a big contention on the health issue side? If we’re not sure, we should not be passing legislation.” Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, noted that the Senate recently killed legislation dealing with a seatbelt pilot project for teens. “Here we are honoring the lack of choice in putting fluoride in the water system,” she said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has proclaimed community water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century; it’s credited with substantially reducing tooth decay in the United States over the past 70 years.Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, said fluoridation “provides benefits to everyone, especially those without access to dental care.” The resolution, HCR 34, had earlier passed the House on a 46-19 vote.

Here’s how the vote broke down:

Voting yes: Sens. Anthon, Brackett, Burgoyne, Davis, Harris, Heider, Hill, Jordan, Keough, Lakey, Lee, Lodge, Martin, Patrick, Schmidt and Ward-Engelking

Voting no: Sens. Bair, Bayer, Buckner-Webb, DenHartog, Guthrie, Hagedorn, Johnson, McKenzie, Mortimer, Nonini, Nuxoll, Rice, Siddoway, Souza, Stennett, Thayn, Vick and Winder