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Eye On Boise

House State Affairs votes 12-4 to reconsider tie vote that killed cannabidiol oil bill

The House State Affairs Committee voted 12-4 today to reconsider the tied 8-8 vote by which it killed SB 1146a, the cannabidiol oil bill, on Monday evening. When that vote took place, one committee member – Rep. Paulette Jordan, D-Plummer – was missing; she was at a National Indian Gaming Commission meeting. Now, she’s back – and she supports the bill.

But when Rep. John McCrostie, D-Boise, moved for reconsideration, Rep. Gail Batt, R-Wilder, noted that another committee member, Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, an opponent of the bill, is out sick today. “He had provided valuable input at the hearing,” Batt said.

McCrostie said, “I certainly appreciate that we want to have all our members here. We didn’t have all of our members here that day when we cast that vote, and I’m not sure that Rep. Crane’s presence here would necessarily change the outcome.” His motion to reconsider then passed 12-4, with Reps. Batt, Luker, Palmer and Holtzclaw dissenting.

Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, then moved to delay the new vote on the reconsidered bill to tomorrow.  “You know that I was a vote to hold the bill,” he said. “And I want a day to get more information, because I’m not sure where I’m going to be on this. … If I’m going to change my vote or not change my vote, I’d like some time to get some information.” His motion then passed on a voice vote; the committee will meet tomorrow at 8 a.m.

Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, said there won’t be any more testimony tomorrow; just the committee discussion and vote. On Monday evening, after hours of testimony including heart-wrenching stories from parents of young children with intractable epilepsy about the life-threatening seizures their youngsters endure; warnings from prosecutors and the Otter Administration’s Office of Drug Policy that allowing use of the non-psychotropic cannabis extract to treat the children’s seizures would open the door to further relaxing of marijuana laws; and testimony from doctors on both sides; the committee deadlocked, 8-8.

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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