After much discussion, the Senate State Affairs Committee has approved HB 318, Rep. Steven Miller’s resort-city event center special liquor license bill, on a 5-3 vote. Sen. Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said the bill doesn’t adequately define terms including “conference” and “event.” Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, agreed, despite assurances that the Alcohol Beverage Control division would address that in rule-making.
“I’m learning way too slowly that words do matter in these statutes, terms matter,” Hill said, “We’ve passed statutes in this body that people have taken what we thought were the intentions of the statute … they have taken those words and used them to go beyond what I think the intention of the Legislature was. And I feel like I’m going to be more careful in the future, in looking at definitions, making sure things are there, that we’re placing our own sideboards on statutes, not relying on someone else to do that.”
Davis and Hill were joined by Sen. Jeff Siddoway, R-Terreton, in opposing the bill, but Sens. McKenzie, Winder, Lakey, Stennett and Buckner-Webb all voted in favor. It now moves to the full Senate. The bill earlier passed the House, 40-28. Two previous versions of the bill from Miller, R-Fairfield, HB 215 and HB 280, died in committee in the House earlier in the session.