North Idaho Sen. Mike Jorgenson proposed far-reaching legislation to punish Idaho employers who hire illegal immigrants this morning, but just hours after the bill had been introduced, it died without a hearing. Jorgenson said this afternoon that the Senate State Affairs Committee chairman, Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, had informed him the bill wouldn’t be scheduled for a hearing in the committee, which means it’s dead. “I’m sorry that he’s caved in to Idaho dairymen and agricultural interests,” Jorgenson said heavily. “They’re taking a pretty strong position that they need their illegal immigrants.” Brent Olmstead, lobbyist for the Idaho Business Coalition for Immigration Reform and the Milk Producers of Idaho, said, “We do have a philosophical difference. He feels employers should be punished - we feel they shouldn’t.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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