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Eye On Boise

Fri., Jan. 20, 2012, 8:04 a.m.

Committee introduces new anti-Occupy bill, takes break and will return for some testimony

Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, suggested that if the House State Affairs Committee wants to take  any testimony this morning on legislation to ban camping on state property on the Capitol Mall, it should first vote to introduce the bill, so he made a motion to introduce the corrected version of the bill. "We do have a lot of folks here that want to speak," he said.  Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, offered a substitute motion to kill the proposed new version. "I don't think we need it," she said. "I think this infringes on free speech. ... It infringes on their right to assemble. The taking of the camping equipment and throwing it into the trash is a taking. There's just too much in this that is going to give Idaho a bad name. ... This is democracy and I think we should let it play out."

The committee's four Democrats voted in favor of King's motion, but all the panel's Republicans opposed it, and it failed. The committee then voted on a party-line vote to introduce the new version of the bill.

Rep. Lynn Luker, R-Boise, noted that the House is standing by, awaiting the return of the committee members, and suggested the committee recess and go back to the House floor, then return to the hearing room for whatever testimony will come today, apparently on the previous version. Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, called for that move and it passed; the committee is now headed back upstairs, but Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, noted that it'll return in 10 to 15 minutes.

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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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