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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

House State Affairs balks at closed-primary bill, won’t vote ‘til tomorrow

In a surprise move, the House State Affairs Committee has voted unanimously to hold SB 1198, the primary election bill, for one day - rather than vote on it today. "I think it is a fundamental shift in election policy, and I have some questions about this bill that I need answered before I can make a decision as to whether to advance this piece of legislation forward," said Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa. "So I'd like to hold it for one day and get some of those questions answered."

Rep. Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City, said, "I would concur with Rep. Crane's motion. I truly don't care if primaries are open or closed, but I really care about the cost to the taxpayers on registering political parties, on using the taxpayer money for political parties to get people registered for their party."

After the unanimous voice vote in favor of Crane's motion, committee Chairman Tom Loertscher announced that tomorrow's House State Affairs Committee meeting will have to start at 7:15 a.m., to accommodate both re-hearing this bill and another "time-consuming piece of legislation" already scheduled.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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