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Bedke: ISU nuke issue ‘not a deal breaker’ for guns on campus bill

Asked about the news that Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas says his schools nuclear research program could be threatened if the guns-on-campus bill passes, House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, told the Idaho Press Club today, “I was on the phone, actually, this morning with President Vailas.” Bedke said he’s still looking into the issue, and noted that other states that allow guns on campus do have nuclear research facilities. “That is not a deal-breaker, the way I understand it,” he said.

However, he said, “I think the point that President Vailas was trying to make is that the security requirements now will be increased, and that that will have a price tag attached.” Bedke said those costs must be taken into account; the bill’s current fiscal note says its cost to the state would be “de minimus,” and would be only for posting signs at large campus entertainment facilities where guns wouldn’t be allowed under the bill.  “We’re getting to the bottom of all these things,” Bedke said. “To the extent that it’s an issue, we’ll take it up.”

Jon Hanian, spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter, said, "The governor's position hasn't changed, but we are looing into the concerns that were raised by President Vailas." Otter earlier said he supported the bill, SB 1254.

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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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