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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Panel passes heavy-load bill

BOISE – Legislation to open nonfreeway routes in Idaho to extra-heavy trucks passed a state House committee over the objections of the two North Idaho lawmakers. The bill now moves to the full House.

Eye on Boise: Cigarette tax hike quickly stubbed out

BOISE – When a proposed $1.25-per- pack cigarette tax increase was rejected by a House committee last week – the panel refused to introduce the bill or allow a hearing – two North Idaho lawmakers were outspoken in their opposition to the bill. Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, said, “The smokers, I want to thank them for this building we’re in,” noting that Idaho tapped cigarette tax proceeds to pay for the bonds to renovate the state Capitol. “It’s kind of ironic that they can’t smoke in it,” he said.

Harwood won’t seek new term in House

BOISE – Six-term Idaho Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, has decided to end his 12-year legislative career after this year. “I’m not going to run,” Harwood said Thursday. “My wife’s family’s not doing well. ... She needs me to be there.”

Eye on Boise: Bill would eliminate regulation of farm product sales

BOISE - Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, is proposing an “Idaho Farm Freedom Act” that would exempt from any licensing, certification or inspection requirement the sale of farm products at farmers markets, at roadside stands, or directly to consumers, including for a “traditional community social event” like weddings, church socials, school events or potlucks. The bill, HB 431, “seeks to encourage local farm and agriculture economies by allowing an unregulated and uninhibited relationship between the farmer and/or the farmer’s agent and the end consumer of the farm product,” according to its statement of purpose.

Eye on Boise: E-cigarette bill opponent saw smoke, mirrors

BOISE – A St. Maries legislator raised fears about a “nanny state” when the Idaho House considered legislation this week to ban the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes to children, but the measure ended up passing unanimously. State Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, cast the only “no” vote on HB 405, but then, at the last minute, changed his vote to “yes.”

Idaho bill to block megaload suits amended

BOISE – Idaho senators had sharp questions for the sponsor, Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, over his bill aimed at blocking lawsuits over highway megaloads, and after much debate, voted Thursday to substantially amend the bill. Harwood urged against that, saying amendments proposed by the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association and others “virtually guts this bill.”

Megaload suit bill heads to Senate

BOISE – The Idaho Legislature is moving to block citizen lawsuits over megaloads on the state’s highways, with legislation clearing the House Monday to require a big up-front cash bond from anyone filing such a lawsuit. “I think it will stop frivolous lawsuits,” said state Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, who is sponsoring House Bill 193. The measure would require anyone suing over a transportation project on Idaho roads to first post a bond equal to 5 percent of the insured value of the load. Harwood said his bill was prompted by the controversial hauling of megaloads of oil equipment along scenic U.S. Highway 12, to which local residents and businesses along the route have objected.

Idaho House votes to preserve unemployment extension

BOISE – North Idaho House members helped lead an unsuccessful move Wednesday to boot 17,000 unemployed Idaho workers off their federal extended unemployment benefits – a move that would have cost those workers $65 million in benefits in the next nine months. “If we continue this, all we are going to do is enable,” said Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. “We’re out of money. ... At some point we have to stand up and say, ‘That’s enough.’ ”

Bill targets megaload opposition

BOISE – St. Maries Rep. Dick Harwood introduced legislation Wednesday designed to impose huge bonding requirements on anyone who sues to block a megaload – or anything else – from traveling on Idaho’s highways.