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Eye On Boise

House passes bill demanding title to federal lands on party-line vote

The House has voted 55-13, a GOP-led party-line vote, in favor of HCR 22, the resolution demanding that the federal government cede title to all federal lands in Idaho to the state. “There’s a few things that I’ll come out of the chair to debate and this is one of those,” said House Speaker Scott Bedke. “This is worth trying.”

“I read frustration in this, and I don’t think the federal government is going to punish us for being frustrated,” said Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake. He said where he lives, there are stark differences between side-by-side swaths of federal and state public land. “It’s … remarkable how much pride, the pride that we have of our state land there,” he said. “It just doesn’t exist on the federal side. … Come see for yourself. It’s very obvious. I don’t blame the federal government – I think they do the best they can. But I know that we can do better.”

The resolution now moves to the Senate. The House also approved another resolution, HCR 21, on a 64-4 vote, calling for an interim legislative study committee to examine possible state management of federal lands in the state.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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