The House hast voted 69-0 in favor of HB 96, the bill to eliminate Idaho's ethanol exemption. It's the first of Gov. Butch Otter's bills to raise money for road maintenance in Idaho to reach a vote in the full House or Senate. "Here's the day you've all been waiting for - this is the first bill to come through from the governor's office and Transportation on increasing money for ITD," Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, told the House. "This is a little one, but it's the first of a few we might see here in the body. ... Eliminating this exemption would restore funds lost to the highway distribution account." Even ethanol producers support it, Nonini said; so much ethanol is being blended now that the exemption's no longer needed. "It's the first start in trying to get some extra ... (funds) to ITD," Nonini said. There was no debate on the bill before its unanimous passage. The governor's office estimated the state will save between $4 million and $12 million a year by eliminating the exemption. HB 96 now moves to the Senate.
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