Thank S-R reporter Parker Howell for the following report:
Members of the House State Affairs Committee heavily razzed Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, this morning for bringing them another bill for consideration. The committee is one of a few with the privilege to introduce legislation this late in the session. When lawmakers questioned Clark’s proposed changes to Idaho’s Open Meeting Law to further regulate use of closed meetings, he took an unusual tack to convince his colleagues to give the bill a full hearing. “I say let’s have a hearing and take our clothes off and go after it,” he said, prompting cries of disgust and mock outrage. One lawmaker mentioned the “mental images” that Clark evoked, and another asked if the committee might need to go into a closed meeting to discuss the matter. Clark turned bright red before saying that at least the committee seemed loosened up.
His unorthodox tactic might have worked, because the committee agreed to introduce his legislation requiring that meetings to be held in public places and that minutes of closed meetings include their subject matter. Clark said concerns about North Idaho urban renewal district officials having meetings in private homes prompted the legislation.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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