Before the decision, Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, proposed an alternate plan: Add “wings” on either side of the state Capitol to get more space, rather than do anything with the now-vacant courthouse. That proposal went down on a 4-5 vote.
The tear-it-down measure passed only because Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, changed his vote from last week, when he’d favored renovation. Davis said he just wanted something done. The building has been standing empty for three years because lawmakers can’t decide which way to go.