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Eye On Boise

Pushing toward March adjournment…

Both the House and Senate debated and passed batches of bills this morning, as they keep up a pace designed to ensure this year’s legislative session ends by March 21. In fact, the way they’ve been pushing this week – with the Senate starting its late-afternoon sessions yesterday and staying on the floor that day until close to 6 p.m. – it looks like they’re trying to get done sooner. “Everyone knows that you need to allow a little time toward the end because of the unexpected,” said House Speaker Scott Bedke.

Here are some of the bills that passed one house or the other today:

HB 398, to authorize the Department of Fish & Game to discount tags and permits, passed the House 61-6 and heads to the Senate side. A planned companion piece to allow fee increases and create an incentive for hunters to buy multi-year licenses to avoid the increases never got introduced, but F&G says it still can make use of the discounting authority.

SB 1335, to allow liquor distillers to give out small free tasting samples, passed the Senate 29-5 and heads to the House side. It would limit the samples to no more than a quarter of an ounce, and no one could get more than three in a 24-hour period.

SB 1275, to boost agriculture education programs, passed the Senate 34-0, and now heads to the House side.

HB 413, legislation from Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, to repeal a no-longer-used section of state law dealing with stumpage districts, passed the House 66-0 and heads for the Senate side.

HB 399, from the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, would lower the minimum age to hunt big game from 12 to 10, but only if the child is accompanied in the field by a licensed adult. “This is a family choice,” said Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly. The bill passed 51-16, and now heads to the Senate side.

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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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