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Idaho lawmakers approve higher boat fees

House votes for $2 increase to fund invasive species fight

BOISE – The Idaho House has voted 55-15 in favor of HB 533, a proposal from Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, to raise boat sticker fees for the state’s anti-invasive species program by $2 for owners of all nonmotorized boats and for owners of out-of-state motorized boats.

The money would go to a vendor fee to get vendors around the state to sell the stickers.

Opponents said it was too soon to raise the fees – now $5 for nonmotorized craft and $20 for out-of-state motorized boats – less than a year into the program.

But backers said there’s no time to lose, with the threat of invasive quagga and zebra mussels from other states getting into Idaho’s waterways.

“We don’t have a year to make this plan better,” said Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover.

All North Idaho representatives except Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, voted in favor of the bill, which now moves to the Senate.

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