Members of leadership from both houses emerged from the governor’s office a few minutes ago and said there’s an agreement in principle on the capitol wings, though it’s not final. “It’s our opinion that the Capitol Commission still has a significant stake – so we can’t accept an offer or reject an offer,” said Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes. “I think in principle, we’ve all agreed that the capitol needs to be renovated and that there’s probably a need for some expansion, and there’s where we’re still negotiating.”
House Speaker Lawerence Denney said, “The Capitol Commission has not been advised of anything, and we think they’re probably the most important player in this whole thing.”
House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke said the governor and legislative leaders have agreed on some “upper limits” to the project, which Geddes said means “no cost overruns, very strict oversight and control of what happens,” and no willy-nilly change orders. Geddes added, “And I think the fences will stand.”
Jon Hanian, Gov. Butch Otter’s press secretary, said, “I can confirm that we do have an agreement in principle. … It is too preliminary right now for us to say anything.” He added, “There are still a lot of details to sort out, but I think it is fair to say that they’ve achieved a breakthrough.”
The Capitol Commission meets in Boise on Tuesday.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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