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Eye On Boise

TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2008, 10:13 A.M.

Legislative doings galore

The Senate has just recessed until 4:30 this afternoon, before taking up any of the bills on its 3rd reading calendar, as both parties are going into caucus. Meanwhile, the House had computer problems yesterday when it tried to come back on the floor after lunch at 1:30, and so instead came back at 3:30. With hardly anyone watching – since few knew they were in session at the unaccustomed time – the House passed a slew of bills, including all three bills making changes in the North Idaho water rights adjudication. The water bills passed near-unanimously, with no debate, said a happy Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover. Only one vote was cast against one of the bills, and Eskridge said when he asked Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, why he’d voted “no,” Smith thought he’d voted “yes,” so it was just a mistake.

With bills flying and lots of things happening now that we’re into the session’s 10th week, the House Rev & Tax Committee held a long, sweaty hearing this morning on the IACI proposal to eliminate the personal property tax, phasing in a huge, $100 million-plus tax break for businesses, but didn’t finish and continued the hearing to tomorrow. The House has once again skipped over the abortion coercion bill, HB 464, which has been sitting atop its calendar for several days, and the controversial midwife licensing bill, which also has been sitting on the House 3rd reading calendar, was just pulled by its sponsor, Rep. Janice McGeachin, R-Idaho Falls. And there’s this interesting item on the Legislature’s social calendar for Wednesday evening, which shows the various receptions and other events hosted for lawmakers by lobbying groups and others: “5-7 p.m., Roy Eiguren Client Reception – for all legislators.” Seems like you could read that to suggest that the high-powered lobbyist’s clients include all legislators…

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.