Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, debated against the two-year, 2-cent a year gas tax hike plan, saying it doesn’t give lawmakers enough leverage to force changes at ITD. “If we give ‘em a big tax increase this year, we’re giving away our bargaining tools,” Hart said. Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, said, “This time the $17.6 million is spread out over two years instead of one, but it’s the same tax increase to our constituents. … Is now the time to give them more dollars before they get their house in order?” When Nonini repeated his earlier comment that the governor’s executive order demanding new accountability measures at ITD is “nothing more than a sales technique on the part of the governor,” Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, cautioned Nonini of the “need to be respectful.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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