Arrow-right Camera

Eye On Boise

FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2009, 9:59 A.M.

32-32 tie kills Hart’s bill in House

Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, proposed legislation to move Idaho toward putting all state agency expenditures into a searchable, online database, but the House killed the bill Friday on a tied vote. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, proposed legislation to move Idaho toward putting all state agency expenditures into a searchable, online database, but the House killed the bill Friday on a tied vote. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

The House has voted 32-32 on HB 263, Rep. Phil Hart's bill to move the state toward constructing and compiling a searchable database of all the state's spending and putting it online. "It is part of our public policy that we do provide this transparency," Hart told the House. Opponents of the bill, however, said it didn't account for its cost; the bill's fiscal note said there would be no fiscal impact to the state's general fund. Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise, told the House, "I would ask you to stop funding unfunded mandates to agencies that are already stretched, and are going to be stretched even more." She estimated the bill would cost the state "tens of thousands of dollars." Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, a member of the joint budget committee, said, "We will have to pay for this ... so if you vote for this, you'd better be prepared to pay for this."

Hart responded that posting essentially the state's entire record of checkbook transactions online would cut down on the number of public records requests state agencies would have to respond to, thereby saving the state money. So, he said, if the bill's cost really is to be estimated, the state also should estimate those savings and cut every agency's budget by that amount. He quoted Thomas Jefferson and said if the state's financial information is online, citizens can monitor it and watch for abuses. But the bill received a tie vote - and tie votes fail.




You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise
Eye On Boise

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