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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

In party-line vote, Senate puts pro-tem in sole charge of Senate hiring, firing

The Senate has voted 28-7, in a straight party-line vote, to approve a second change to Senate rules, this one giving the Senate pro-tem sole authority to hire or fire all Senate employees. "I have a lot of trouble with this," said Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum. "I think there was some middle ground we could have come to." She said she respects current Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill for being "even-handed" and having no malicious intent, but that might not be true in the future. Hill responded, "This is what we got. Without it we go back to what we had. It's the choice of the Senate." The party-line vote followed.

Current rule, which hasn't been invoked in recent history, states that the full Senate by two-thirds vote may remove a Senate employee for failure to perform duties, incompetence, or improper conduct.

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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