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House halts Ringo’s move to call her bill on secret tax deals out of committee

Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, made an unsuccessful move in the House this morning to call HB 37, her bill to crack down on secret tax deals and make more of the process public, out of the Rev & Tax Committee, where it's been sitting since January. House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, spoke against the move, saying, "The committee had a reason for it being there, and that's where it needs to stay." Ringo responded, "Actually the point is to let the committee process work. This bill was introduced Jan. 25, and there is nothing in our rules that gives the committee chair the power to refuse a hearing on a bill. ... It's the committee process that I want to talk about, and I think it's not working."

Rev & Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, said, "This is a House bill that I held in committee, and there's a good reason for it. As you recall early in the session there was a lot of controversy about what was going on in the Tax Commission, some changes were made, and I think that that issue has substantially resolved itself. Do we still have some issues regarding how we do compromise and closing agreements? Yes, we do." But he said a committee was formed, including himself, his Senate counterpart, and GOP legislative leaders. "We will make some recommendations to the governor, and I think any changes ought to come through him," Lake said.

The House then voted 52-15 to "excuse the committee" from bringing forth the bill, which leaves the measure there. All 13 House Democrats opposed the motion, which Moyle proposed; they were joined by two Republicans, Reps. Tom Trail, R-Moscow, and Max Black, R-Boise.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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