The Idaho Senate has voted 34-1 in favor of legislation to require all boats launched in Idaho, motorized or not, to carry a $5, $10 or $20 sticker to help fund the fight against invasive quagga and zebra mussels. The bill, HB 213, earlier passed the House; today’s Senate vote sends it to the governor’s desk. Under the measure, owners of boats registered in Idaho would pay $10, those whose boats are registered elsewhere would pay $20, and non-motorized boats, which aren’t registered, would be charged $5 each. The only exception is for inflatables less than 10 feet long. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, has pushed for the legislation; he’s also backing legislation to allow the state to spend up to $5 million through emergency deficiency warrants next year if needed in the fight against the mussels. The tiny, fast-spreading shellfish have clogged and destroyed pipes, pumps and entire beaches and ecosystems; they haven’t turned up in Idaho yet, but have been spotted just miles to the south in Utah.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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