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Coming soon: Transportation bills…

Here’s a link to my full story at spokesman.com on the latest developments on the local-option tax issue - the House speaker is blocking bills there that don’t include constitutional amendments, but says they could go to the Senate; the Senate chairman says he won’t push a Senate bill that would just die in the House committee. On another note: House Speaker Lawerence Denney says the various transportation bills - including the governor’s package - will be introduced Tuesday in the House Transportation Committee. The governor’s proposals, which include gas tax and car and truck registration fee increases to fund increased road maintenance,  originally arrived in a single, 165-page bill, Denney said, but lawmakers persuaded him to separate it into several bills. He said, “Tuesday we are going to print transportation bills - the governor’s bills and any others that might come forward.”

And to wrap up a busy day, here are some of the choice quotes from this morning’s hearing in House State Affairs on Rep. Steve Hartgen’s proposed legislation to outlaw Internet harassment:
* Rep. Joe Palmer, R-Meridian: “I personally get lots of emails that other people might be offended by. They don’t bother me none.”
* Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs: “I’ve had telephone calls that upset me from a constituent, and at some point I can hang up on them … but if they email me, that’s one way they can get the message to me and that will disturb my peace and my quiet.”
* Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle: Labrador told the committee he’s developed something of a following on the Internet, such that whenever his name appears in print, “They say something nasty about me … Somebody’s saying what a dummy I am or whatever. That’s protected by the 1st Amendment.”


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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