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Monday, October 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

House debate: ‘Not comfortable,’ ‘Long, hard slog,’ ‘A third of the urgent need’

Rep. Joe Palmer opens debate on the transportation bill in the House, shortly after 1 a.m. (Betsy Russell)
Rep. Joe Palmer opens debate on the transportation bill in the House, shortly after 1 a.m. (Betsy Russell)

“I’ve been here seven years, and this is the first time I’ve carried a piece of legislation that I am not that comfortable with,” House Transportation Chairman Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, told the House. However, he said he feels HB 312aa is needed and he’ll support it.

House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said, “It’s been a long hard slog on this, and I don’t know that anybody is completely satisfied.” But he congratulated Palmer and the lawmakers “who worked so hard at this.”

Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, said the bill should have included higher fees on extra-heavy trucks. Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, said big trucks get much lower gas mileage than cars, so they pay more in fuel tax. "They're paying five to six times as much per mile driven," he said. Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, said, "I don't think we're solving the problem. ... This is about a third of the urgent need that's been identified to us." But she said she'd support the bill given how late it is in the session.




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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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