Lawmakers have gotten a lot of mileage out of criticism by Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, of vehicle fleets used by state agencies, Parker Howell reports. Last week, Nonini voted against a Department of Health and Welfare funding bill, arguing that he sees unused vehicles sitting in the parking lot of an agency in North Idaho. He also disapproved of the state’s fleet-management plan, which replaces vehicles after 80,000 to 100,000 miles, saying he sold his last car after 212,000 miles. Introducing Nonini this morning to debate in support of a vanity license plate that will provide money to military families, Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Wallace, said she would yield to “the fleet vehicle investigator.” She added, “There is not a fleet of vehicles I can find in this legislation.”
On Wednesday, the House relaxed its rules to make a special presentation to Nonini. Legislators gave him his “own fleet of cars” – the “Fast Lane Super Vehicle Collection” of 20 miniature, die-cast vehicles. The red package sat on Nonini’s desk Wednesday afternoon. After the ceremony, he said another lawmaker had sent him a pair of flip-flops with a car design. The sandals came with a note thanking him for debating HB 307 because of his vehicle concerns, but later voting for it – in essence, doing a flip-flop.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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