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Eye On Boise

Tue., March 26, 2013, 12:53 p.m.

House amends school-safety bill, ‘radiator caps’ it into new version of two gun-rights bills

Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, pushed amendments to Sen. Marv Hagedorn’s school safety bill, SB 1133, to remove the entire bill and replace it with the text of his gun-rights bill, HB 280, which passed the House but never got a hearing in the Senate, and also the text of Rep. Mark Patterson’s bill, HB 219, which criminalizes Idaho police officers if they try to enforce newly enacted federal gun laws, which is in the same position. “The chamber on the other side of the rotunda had made it clear that they didn’t have time to debate or have a hearing on these particular bills, and we felt that it was important enough that they did have a hearing or get to see the light of day,” Monks told the House.

Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, asked, “To clarify, whatever happened to that school safety bill? Is it gone forever?” Monks responded, “That has been removed in this amendment, yes.”

That type of amendment is sometimes referred to as "radiator-capping" a bill, with the metaphor comparing the bill to a vehicle on which the radiator cap has been removed, an entirely new vehicle driven under, and then the cap screwed down onto the new vehicle. In that metaphor, the radiator cap - the only thing that stays the same - is the bill number.

There was an objection that the amendment violated House rules because it wasn’t relevant to the bill, but House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, ruled it relevant. “The chair has ruled that it is – there is a nexus between school security and firearms,” Crane said. When a voice vote on the amendment was too close to call, division was called for, and Crane declared that the motion had carried. That means SB 1133 is no longer a school-safety bill, and is now a compilation of the two House-passed gun rights bills.

Other House members asked Monks if he thought the amended bill would be received favorably by the Senate, and he said no.

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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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