Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, opened debate in the House on HB 404, his bill to evict the Occupy Boise encampment from state property across the street from the Capitol. Bedke said the measure “closes the loophole that allows for camping on the lawns.” He said, “This bill has been twisted into things that I don't think it is - I'm sure that we'll hear some debate on that here today.”
Bedke said Occupy supporters say “that the encampment was the equivalent of a soapbox … and that it was worthy of f1st Amendment protections.” But he said the issue is “settled law.” “I don't think it was ever the state's intention to allow camping on the grounds adjacent to the capitol or at the capitol itself,” he said. He noted that sex offenders staying at Occupy Boise have used the address as their “domicile” for purposes of the sex offender registry.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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