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Eye On Boise

New version of invasive species bill introduced, removes ‘container’

A new version of amendments to the Invasive Species Act was introduced in the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee this morning, with the words "a container" removed from the definition of a "conveyance," for which Idahoans could be penalized for not stopping for inspection. "That was the only change we made, so that Sen. Schroeder's cooler wouldn't be included," said Lloyd Knight, head of plant industries for the state Department of Agriculture. When the bill gets its full hearing, he said, "We'll be ready to talk about the program. They want to hear more detail."

The bill expands law enforcement authority to detain and impound vehicles infested with invasive species, and cite and detain drivers who don't stop at inspection stations.

When the bill was first proposed, Sen. Gary Schroeder, R-Moscow, said it was so broadly written that it could toss someone in jail for a year and fine them thousands of dollars for not pulling over for inspection when they had a cooler in the back of their pickup truck. Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said the broadly written bill raised possible constitutional issues. Knight said Ag doesn't usually dabble in law enforcement; "They just need some assurances that we're not trying to get out in an arena where we're not prepared to be."

Eye On Boise

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