BOISE – Forget that license-plate bill to do away with all license-plate bills. Senators killed it Thursday.
HB 101a, the bill that said no new specialty license plates would be granted in Idaho after this year – in which three new ones are going through – went down on an 11-22 vote.
Sen. Brad Little, R-Emmett, the bill’s Senate sponsor, told senators that Idaho is losing its identity because it has 54 different specialty license plates. Those include legislative plates, veterans’ plates, and others as well as fundraising plates for Fish and Game non-game programs, the state Capitol Commission, and an array of other causes.
“I think now is a good time to draw the line in the sand and say, ‘No more plates.’ It will stop the madness,” Little told the Senate.
But others objected. Sen. Hal Bunderson, R-Meridian, said the Legislature ought to study how the plates are selling, how much they raise and how much they cost to make and stock before making such a decision.
Sen. Bert Marley, D-McCammon, said, “Y’know, variety is important. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy each and every one of you – you’re quite a variety.”
North Idaho senators split down the middle on the issue, with Sens. Dick Compton, Mike Jorgenson and Shawn Keough voting for the bill, and Sens. Joyce Broadsword, John Goedde and Gary Schroeder voting against it.
Keough said afterward that she thinks it’s inappropriate and unfair that the state grants special plates to “the group that has the best champion.” But, she said, “I probably could have voted either way on that. I have no doubt a license plate will come through here that I think is great.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.