Idaho Lawmakers Sprint To The Finish Line

Mar 29, 2012

Idaho lawmakers are finishing up business today, trying end the 2012 Idaho Legislative Session. 

The House adjourned mid afternoon with some levity in the air.  “You’ve heard the motion. All those in favor say aye…" A resounding "Aye!" filled the chamber. Then House Speaker Lawrence Denny asked, "All those opposed say nay." The "nays" were nearly equal to the aye votes but all of it was done in fun. And after some laughter Denny brought the gavel down on the session.  

Meanwhile, the Senate remains in session this afternoon.  The hold up has been legislation on new ethics rules. Senators have now signed off on those. Betsy Russell with The Spokesman Review writes about the rules in her blog Eye on Boise:

"The Senate has adopted proposed new ethics rules in a straight party-line vote, 28-7. In his closing debate, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis said, “There's a lot that was said in opposition to the bill that I agree with.” But he said a public ethics process before probable cause has been determined “does not … preserve reputations against frivolous allegations.” He said, “When we make it part of the public discourse, let's at least have confidence that we've met a probable cause standard, and if we have, then it should be part of the public discourse.'" - Eye on Boise


Now three legislative bills are all that remain before the Senate closes up shop. 

The Idaho Legislature has met now for 81 days.   During that time, lawmakers came to town prepared to argue over cash, worried about budget numbers after several down years.  But they quickly agreed on a more than $2.5 billion budget for 2013.  That left time for issues more social than monetary. Senators and Representatives wrangled over abortion, government control, discrimination, and ethics. 

You can hear more about what key legislation made its way through the session and what didn't during Morning Edition, Friday morning from 4 to 9 a.m. on KBSX News 91.5.