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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Dumped into Ways & Means

Already, two bills introduced this session have been assigned to the Ways & Means Committee in the House, a panel controlled by leadership that rarely meets, and hasn't met yet. The bills, HB 2 and HB 17, are both personal bills. HB 2 was introduced by Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, to expand local-option tax authority. HB 17 was introduced by Reps. George Eskridge, R-Dover, and Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, to limit increases in property tax valuations to 3 percent a year, a concept the two have long pushed. House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, said, "Well, my advice to them early on was to take them to a regular committee, and they decided that they would rather have them printed as personal bills, so I sent them to Ways & Means," where the measures are unlikely to get a hearing. "If a bill has the backing to get printed (by a regular legislative committee), you know, it has a fair chance of success, but if you can't get it printed in one of the germane committees, then it's probably something that we don't need to be wasting our time on this year," Denney said. He added, "Each one of them, I've warned them before they were printed that that's probably what would happen to them."

There's no Ways & Means Committee in the Senate, where measures introduced as personal bills have sometimes made it all the way through the process and become law. Today is the deadline for personal bills in the Senate; 16 were read across the desk today, and another seven already had been introduced.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.