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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Barbieri: ‘Really enjoyed this session’

Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, a freshman representative who won a four-way GOP primary last spring but then ran unopposed in November, is more upbeat than most in looking back on this year's legislative session. Barbieri, who stepped into the spotlight as the lead sponsor of legislation attempting to "nullify" the federal health care reform law, then later settled for a compromise bill, said, "It's nice to have a success. I really didn't expect to have anything more than a discussion about that." He said that issue plus the anti-wolf bill gave him hope about pushing back against federal influence in the state. "It has shown that with the governor's lead, we can kind of assist in a unified face against ... federal intrusion," Barbieri said.

"I really enjoyed this session," Barbieri said, adding that the feedback he's gotten from his North Idaho district "has been very, very positive." The vice-chairman of a crisis pregnancy center in Coeur d'Alene, Barbieri also said he was cheered by the passage of legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks on grounds of fetal pain. "It's nice to see that the Legislature recognizes that the pain, anyone's pain, is important, and it's our job to protect ... especially in a mom's tummy. I was delighted." He said he thinks the bill may hold up in the U.S. Supreme Court because of Justice Anthony Kennedy's writings on fetal pain. "I do believe that life is important enough to fight the battle," Barbieri said.

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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