Legislation designed to relieve Pennsylvania-based Crown Holdings from liability for millions in old asbestos claims has passed the House on a 47-22 vote, after much debate; after the vote, the House recessed until 1:30 p.m. The asbestos bill got strong opposition, including from Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, who said it would violate the Idaho Constitution's ban on local or special legislation. He said while 14 states have passed the legislation proposed by Crown Holdings, “Eleven have not passed the legislation - in fact, four of them have rejected it twice.”
The bill's House floor sponsor, Rep. Cliff Bayer, R-Boise, responded, “You do not have any person or corporation listed in this legislative language, like the Constitution prohibits. … I think Idaho is business-friendly and has to have this message sent to its business community.” The bill, which the American Legislative Exchange Council drafted with Crown and has been proposing state by state, now moves to the Senate side.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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