State Politics

Want a ‘Maniac’ on your car? Orofino High fans want their own license plate

Orofino High School’s mascot is the wild-haired Maniac.
Orofino High School’s mascot is the wild-haired Maniac.

The first specialty license plate bill of the year was introduced in the Idaho House Transportation Committee on Thursday, honoring the Orofino High School Maniacs.

Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, sponsored the measure.

Shepherd introduced a similar bill last session. It never received a hearing.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Palmer, R-Meridian, said he visited Orofino last summer and encountered great support for the plate.

Idaho drivers already have their choice of at least 50 different specialty plates. The plates cost $35 initially and $25 for each renewal, with the sponsoring organization collecting a portion of the fee.

Shepherd said money from the Maniacs plate would go to the Clearwater Community Foundation for youth programs.

Before an organization proposes legislation requesting a new plate, it must submit a financial plan to the Idaho Transportation Department, along with a list of at least 250 vehicle owners who have committed to purchasing the design. After a three-year introductory period, at least 1,000 plates must be sold in every subsequent two-year period or the design will be discontinued.

Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, raised concern that the plates could be offensive to mental health advocates and those with mental illness, who objected to Shepherd’s previous bill.

Shepherd said it’s the same plate design as last year. It doesn’t have any wording, but shows the Maniacs mascot. He said the state mental hospital in Orofino isn’t opposed to the proposal.

bspence@lmtribune.com, (208) 791-9168

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