It was unanimous – a 35-0 vote in the Senate just now – to pass HB 707, the bill to require those who lobby the executive branch to register with the state and disclose their spending, just as do those who lobby the legislative branch. The issue has been particularly controversial this year as huge, multimillion-dollar state contracts have been awarded to firms that hired the governor’s former chief of staff, Phil Reberger, to represent them as they sought the bids. Reberger registered as a lobbyist only after the Secretary of State’s office opened an investigation into his meeting with a key legislator about one of the contracts. HB 707 earlier passed the House on a unanimous 68-0 vote. It now heads to the governor’s desk.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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