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Sandpoint girl cheers senators’ vote


Hannah Vogel, 13, was visiting the state Capitol with a group of 35 eighth graders from Sandpoint Charter School when she sat in on a Senate committee hearing where, after tough questioning from senators, a pro-field burning bill was unexpectedly killed by one vote.

Hannah is the daughter of Sharon Vogel a Sandpoint woman who suffered from asthma, and died after a particularly smoky day of field-burning on the prairie.

With the eighth grader in the front row, the senators on the Agriculture Committee killed HB 741, which would have undercut a pending lawsuit by creating a new, stringent definition of “economically viable alternative” to field-burning.

“I don’t want to sound too melodramatic, but a side product of the law is that it’d be a trillion times harder to find an alternative,” Hannah said after the vote. “I am really, really glad … just thrilled, really.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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