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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

‘Sticking it to the disabled kids’

The House has moved slowly through its business today, with Democrats refusing to agree to waive full reading of the text of several bills, though they allowed appropriations bills to be debated without full reading. The Dems still are holding out for hearings on a cigarette tax increase and an advisory vote on school reform; Republican leaders haven't budged. "The message that we have is that people should be heard, and we'll do what we can to make it happen," said House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston. "What we have done is we've made legislators uncomfortable, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing."

However, Rusche had harsh words for a GOP retaliation move last night, in which Republicans killed SB 1080a, a measure aimed at helping children with special needs get access to early intervention services, because it was being sponsored in the House by a Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise. "That's petty, vindictive - this is bullying," Rusche said. "It was an important piece of legislation that people worked really hard on for a long time." He called the move "Republicans ... sticking it to the disabled kids of Idaho because they aren't getting their way on everything."

Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, the Senate sponsor of SB 1080a, said he was "disappointed" at the move. "It's a $20,000 budget," he said. The early childhood coordinating council will survive, even without the bill, he said; it's operated until now under a governor's executive order. But Corder said, "It bothers me that occurred. It bothers me that we do things like that in the first place, that government can't simply function the way it's supposed to."

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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