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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

House Resources backs sale of endowment’s business assets; chairman dissents

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — House lawmakers' unease with an endowment trust-owned storage business in Boise shined through in a 15-1 committee vote that could force the state Department of Lands to sell the operation. The Resources Committee voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for HB 495, the measure requiring the Land Board to sell or lease all improvements on endowment-owned ground, and sell off all business operations. Back in August 2010, the Land Board's purchase of Affordable Self Storage in Boise drew free-market advocates' fiery critique. They argued the endowment trust that benefits public schools was encroaching on the private sector by buying a business, rather than merely grazing, timber or commercial buildings, like it's owned for a century. The Department of Lands has been leery of this proposed restriction, because the storage business is among the endowment's best-performing assets.

House Resources Chairman Bert Stevenson, R-Rupert, cast the only vote against the bill, which now moves to the full House.

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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