Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little said not 10 minutes before he was called on to break a tie vote in the Senate today, he’d been talking with Senate pages, who asked him if he ever got to vote. He explained that he voted only in case of a tie – which at that point hadn’t happened yet this year – but that he never knew when that would occur. “That’s why I read the bills, because I never know until the roll call,” Little said.
When the Senate’s vote came out 17-17 on HB 292, legislation to make assaults or batteries on health workers felonies, Little said he’d just been convinced to oppose the bill by Sen. Curt McKenzie’s debate, when McKenzie explained his vote. “I was going to vote for that,” Little said. But he said McKenzie’s discussion of the “low hurdle for battery” offenses persuaded him that a battery could be any unwanted touching. “We’d have more people going into the penal system,” Little said. “We’re always saying we’ve got too many people incarcerated.”
He added, “I have to think that next year, Luke (Malek) will probably bring that bill back.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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