The Senate has voted 28-7 along party lines in favor of HB 693, the Capitol Mall rules bill covering the site of the Occupy Boise vigil; all Republicans voted yes, and all Democrats voted no. “My question is the rush and the emergency,” said Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum. “I really think that we should be addressing what the cost would be for the expanded authority and the enforcement.”
Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, the bill's Senate sponsor, said the state needs the rule-making authority to appropriately manage the grounds. “The Department of Administration says that they wanted to get this in place for the spring so that they can do that maintenance,” he said.
Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Meridian, said, “I think this is much more than just sprinklers and lawnmowers, I think it's about access.” He said the state has rules for protests on the Capitol steps, and he called that “a very orderly process,” saying, “I think it should apply to all the property.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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