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Eye On Boise

House kills bill after Perry asks, ‘Do you believe in limited government, or do you not?’

The House has voted 36-29 against legislation from Rep. Lynn Lyker, R-Boise, to ban the use of credit or debit cards in historical horse race betting machines. Luker said the machines already are set up for cash or cash-voucher use only, and state rules reinforce that, but his bill, HB 380, would have put the restriction into state law.

Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, told the House, “Government does not belong in my pocketbook. It doesn’t belong telling me how I can spend or use a credit card, how I can use a debit card, how I can or even if I should use cash. Those are very personal decisions that should be left up to an individual. I think it’s just an intrusion far beyond where we should be going.” She urged the House to reject the bill. “We can’t codify every rule,” she said. “When we put this in statute ... what this is telling us is that government is not limited, government can go into your pocketbook and it can make your decisions for you.” She challenged the House, saying, “Do you believe in limited government, or do you not?”

Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, told the House, “Many of us in this room are Republicans and not Libertarians.” He said he believes lawmakers have a responsibility “to choose what vices we allow and do not allow.” Luker said gambling devices may be used in an area where people are drinking alcohol and “aren’t able to … discern” how much they’re spending, but the vote fell short, killing his bill.

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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