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Eye On Boise

Thu., Feb. 17, 2011, 11:01 a.m.

Harwood: ‘A heavy heart’

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, debates Thursday against the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's policing legislation in the House. Harwood said he debated
Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, debates Thursday against the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's policing legislation in the House. Harwood said he debated "with a heavy heart," and thought the issue should be settled locally. The bill was killed by one vote. (Betsy Russell)

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, told the House, "I stand here with a heavy heart today to debate this bill." He said some have accused people from his county of being racist. "I'll tell you that's nothing more than hate speech and that is not true, it is definitely not true. It's highly offensive to me and to the people of my county," he said.  He told the House, "It's hard for me to debate this bill because both the county members and the tribal members are my constituents. And the very reason that we're here is because the tribal council wants us to be here." Harwood said he opposes HB 111, the tribal policing bill, because, "This bill will give the power to an entity that is not accountable to the people that it has the power over. That flies right in the face of everything this country's about, doesn't it? It sure seems like it to me," he said. "HB 111 diminishes Idaho sovereignties by setting a precedence to further expand federal and tribal authority over Idaho citizens."

Said Harwood, "This is a local matter really, and it should be solved at the local level." He also questioned the bill's fiscal note, which shows no cost to the state. "What about all the people that they're going to be sending to the state jails?" he asked. He said, "Tribal police are for the tribal members only."




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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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