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Idaho session will have plenty of seats

BOISE – Idaho’s next legislative session still will be cramped in its temporary quarters, but lawmakers have decided to add some relief – in the form of eight flushing porta-potties.

Otherwise, the session would have pitted lawmakers, lobbyists, citizens, reporters, visiting schoolchildren, staffers and others in competition for just 19 toilet stalls, less than half the 44 they’re accustomed to at the state Capitol. The Capitol is closed for renovation for the next two years. Lawmakers will meet in an old courthouse across the street.

The 19 existing stalls meet building code requirements for as many as 475 people – but state Rep. Margaret Henbest, D-Boise, said the number “doesn’t seem like enough.”

Of the 19, six are designated for women. Four aren’t designated, and the remaining nine are for men.

A legislative committee this week voted to add the eight portables, which will go in a heated, enclosed canopy just outside the temporary Statehouse, at a cost of about $6,000.

House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly, said, “I think we’ll adapt pretty easily. … I’ve suggested a couple of times it’s just like going on a camping trip for a couple of years.”


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