Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, introduced legislation this morning to require verification that any substitute for a legislator is “a qualified person residing in that legislative district.” Nonini told the Senate State Affairs Committee that he was prompted by Rep. Frank Henderson, R-Post Falls, naming a sub for the first three weeks of this year’s session who then turned out to live 180 feet over the line into the neighboring legislative district.
Nonini told the senators his bill doesn’t include a penalty. “I think if there were punishment to be given, it might be by the voters in that district, because they’re the ones who brought the issue to my attention at a town hall meeting … after we realized in our legislative district that the substitute did not live in the district.” He said “the feeling was” that for those three weeks, District 3 has just two legislators, one senator (himself) and one representative, while the neighboring district had four.
“No one checked on it,” Nonini said. “No one really knew the situation because no one really verified it.” The Senate State Affairs Committee, after asking Nonini several questions about how his bill was crafted, agreed to introduce the measure.