State Politics

Idaho lawmakers show support for pets license plate. Up next? Denouncing hate plate

The Idaho Legislature on Wednesday showed its support for pets and the Idaho Humane Society by passing a bill creating a “pet-friendly” specialty license plate.
The Idaho Legislature on Wednesday showed its support for pets and the Idaho Humane Society by passing a bill creating a “pet-friendly” specialty license plate.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Idaho Humane Society is the administrator of the funds generated by the plate, not the beneficiary. The proceeds will be awarded as grants to veterinarians and shelters throughout Idaho for spay and neutering services for low income families.

Idaho specialty license plates have become iconographic symbols for Idahoans’ values — kind of like a permanent bumper sticker.

The Idaho Transportation Department offers about 40 specialty plate designs, including Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Friends of the NRA, Peace Officer, Veteran, Support our Troops, and Wildlife.

Each specialty plate must be approved by the Idaho Legislature.

The Idaho Legislature on Wednesday showed its support for pets and the Idaho Humane Society by passing a bill creating a “pet-friendly” specialty license plate.

A portion of the plates’ sales goes to the Idaho Humane Society to fund low-cost spay and neutering programs in rural Idaho.

The bill’s next stop is the governor’s desk for his signature, which will make former Democratic Rep. Hy Kloc of Boise very happy. Kloc had been working on the bill for several years and last year saw it fail in a tie vote.

Now Idaho lawmakers must decide this session if they will support another specialty license plate bill: “Too Great to Hate.”

Hy Kloc was born in a displaced persons camp in Essen, Germany after WWII. Kloc and his family came to the United States where his experience as an immigrant helped him understand as a politician to help today's immigrants.

On Wednesday, Sens. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, and Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise, brought in a late-entry bill to the Senate State Affairs Committee.

“There are people in the world that hate,” Winder told the committee while introducing the bill.

“You can think of the Ku Klax Klan and other organizations, like the Aryan Nations. We have them in Idaho. I think this is just a statement about the belief in Idaho that we are a caring state. We protect the rights of others,” he said.

The committee voted unanimously to print the bill. A committee hearing will take place at a later date.

The additional cost for the “pet-friendly” and proposed “too great for hate” plates plate will be $35 for the initial purchase and $25 for each annual registration.

Of that, $22 of the initial fee and $12 of each renewal will go toward each plate’s specified program, Idaho Humane Society and Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, respectively.

Idaho Humane Society will be the administrator of the funds generated by the plate by awarding grants to veterinarians and shelters throughout Idaho for spay and neutering services for low income families.

The Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights is full of quotes, symbolism and contemporary Idaho stories.

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Idaho Statesman investigative reporter Cynthia Sewell was named Idaho Press Club reporter of the year in 2017 and 2008. A University of Oregon graduate, she joined the Statesman in 2005. Her family has lived in Idaho since the mid-1800s.
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