Among those debating against the anti-Occupy bill: Rep. Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, who said, "They are us, they are our friends, our neighbors, citizens," and Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who said, "I'm going to vote against the bill because I feel like we're in extraordinary times right now, and we ought to be looking at what's going on across the street in light of these extraordinary times." Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, said the message the bill sends is "we don't want to see you and we don't want to hear from you."
Among those debating for the bill: Rep. JoAn Wood, R-Rigby, said, "We had people who live in this area and who feel that there's a desecration of a historic grounds and building," and Rep. Steve Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, said, "Yes we have a loophole, and it seems to me it is perfectly appropriate that we would take legislative action to close it." Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, asked whether without the law the state would see a wave of campers come spring break.
Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, the bill's sponsor, said in his closing debate, "It's entirely fitting that we should regulate camping on the grounds around the Capitol." As lawmakers debate the bill, he said, "There's still time to get your stuff and take it home."