House Democrats had objected to waiving the full reading of HB 95a, the amended urban renewal bill, and the bill text was being read when House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, interrupted. Rusche said the Democrats still want hearings on bills to raise the state's cigarette tax and to hold an advisory vote of the people on this year's school reform legislation. “We've asked the introduction of two pieces of legislation in order that these concerns be heard,” Rusche said. “When we needed to, we used legitimate procedural protests to try to draw that attention…. But perhaps the best thing we can do for Idaho's citizens is rapidly bring this session to a close,” so lawmakers can return to their districts and hear the concerns of the citizens there. Therefore, he said, he'd ask unanimous consent to waive further reading of HB 95a.
That unanimous consent was granted, and the bill-reading was halted. After some debate, the bill then passed 64-6; it had earlier passed the House, but was amended in the Senate, so the measure still needed House approval as amended. It now moves to the governor's desk.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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