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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Senate passes ‘Hire One Act,’ 30-5

The Senate has voted 30-5 to pass HB 297, Gov. Butch Otter's "Hire One Act" to give a tax credit to employers who make new hires, with the amount varying based on their rating in the state unemployment system. "It provides an incentive to Idaho employers to hire more people," Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, told the Senate. "I think this is the kind of legislation that will kick-start our economy and get us headed in the right direction." Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, said there are a lot of good things in the bill, but he said it's more of a reward for employers who make hires than it is an incentive. "The questions is, can government buy new jobs?" He said, "When I was in business ... would I have ever hired one person for a 2 percent or a 4 percent or a 6 percent bonus at the end of the tax year? Would that make good sense to me? And I have to admit it would not."

The bill was amended in the Senate, and rather than taking effect retroactively to Jan. 1, it would take effect next year, so it wouldn't impact next year's state budget. The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendments.

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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