Highlights from 04-02-2013
Lawmakers debate session-ending deal
Senators and representatives met Monday over the stalled $1.3 billion education budget.
First, senators including President Pro Tem Brent Hill of Rexburg and Dean Cameron of Rupert made the pilgrimage Monday to House Speaker Scott Bedke's suite for a closed-door meeting.
Then senators left Bedke's chambers, some through a back door, for further meetings on their side of the Capitol.
At stake: A solution to the impasse that canceled adjournment of the Legislature last Friday.
Catalyst for this delay was the Senate's 18-17 rejection of the education budget.
After one of the meetings broke up temporarily, Bedke emerged to say there's still no deal. But he's confident of agreement by week's end.
The earliest new hearings could be held will now be Tuesday or Wednesday.
The Associated Press
Otter signs bill,with a caveat
Gov. Butch Otter says he wants the Idaho Transportation Department to hold public hearings and take other steps before designating any new routes - including Idaho 95 in North Idaho - for the big, 129,000-pound trucks permitted under SB 1117, which he signed into law.
The bill lets any non-freeway route in the state be designated for the extra-heavy trucks.
A follow-up bill, HB 322, which passed the Senate today, adds guarantees that local road jurisdictions have the say over local roads.
Betsy Russell, Spokesman-Review
House OKs bill to toughen Idaho law
Legislation to make it a felony for anyone convicted twice of torturing a domestic pet has cleared a hurdle in the House.
The bill would apply to torture of cats, dogs and other domestic critters, but exempts Idaho's livestock industry.
Lawmakers voted 54-14 Monday to approve the measure sponsored by Lava Hot Springs Republican Rep. Ken Andrus.
Andrus argues animal abusers sometimes go on to hurt people, so tougher animal abuse penalties could be an effective deterrent.
He said the bill could also help head off ballot initiative efforts by animal rights activists seeking even tougher laws in Idaho.
The Associated Press