Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Bill on interstate compact on federal lands transfer dies in committee in Senate

After a hearing that was continued this afternoon from Monday, the Senate Resources Committee, after extensive discussion, has voted to kill HB 265a, the bill to enter into an interstate compact for state takeover of federal lands. After numerous concerns were raised about various provisions in the bill, from costs to state sovereignty questions, Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, moved to send the bill to the Senate’s 14th Order for amendments, and Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, seconded the motion.

“I just feel like we’re losing a great opportunity if we don’t get started,” Nuxoll told the committee. “I don’t see a problem with fixing this bill in the amending order.”

Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, made a substitute motion to hold the bill in committee, and Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, seconded the motion. Both said they’re unhappy with management of federal public lands in Idaho, but said the provisions in the compact bill were problematic. “I really do appreciate the efforts of the interim committee,” Siddoway said. “I have great respect for Sen. Winder and for the valiant effort he has put forth.” He said, “We can maybe take this same document, work on it over the summer, come back, and have a better path laid out.”

Sen. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, argued for amending the bill. “To do nothing I believe is passive approval,” he said.

But only he, Nuxoll and Vick voted against the motion to hold the bill in committee, killing it for the session.

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.

Follow Betsy online: