Eye On Boise

THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2009, 11:54 A.M.

‘A strange way to do business’

After close to half an hour of dithering on the House floor, with various members gathering at the speaker's desk, going back to their seats, staffers being consulted, etc., etc., the House went back into session and Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, explained, "What we're trying to do here, as I mentioned, we're trying to correct an amendment, or get an amendment out of HB 303. The problem lies in the fact that the Senate has not sent us 303, we can't get copies of the engrossed bills, because that doesn't happen until they pass." As a result, Nonini said, "the numbering ... is hard to follow. But after visiting with legislative services, they said ... we can go ahead and run this bill." Then, Nonini said, the House can concur in the Senate amendments after the Senate passes 303. "We therefore would be in order."

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said, "I just feel uncomfortable with this process. ... It may be legal ... but I think it's a really strange way to do business, and it doesn't make us look good." Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, responded that the new bill, HB 374, has no effect unless the one it alters also passes. Without that, he said, "they just become words." The bill, which deals with funding for "virtual" or online education, then passed the House on a 49-15, largely party-line vote.

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, then asked that HB 375, another new bill from this morning, be returned to the Ways & Means Committee to correct an error, and announced that Ways & Means will meet at 2 p.m. Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, announced that the Transportation Committee will meet immediately upon recess to consider a piece of legislation. The House then recessed until 2:30.

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.