Idaho House Votes To Kick Out Occupy Boise
Idaho House members have voted 54-16 to boot Occupy Boise protesters from state-managed ground near the Capitol building. Before the vote this morning, Rep. Steve Hartgen of Twin Falls reminded lawmakers the bill dealt with settled law, where the U.S. Supreme Court has concluded content-neutral camping bans from public ground aren’t unreasonable restrictions. Hartgen said Occupy Boise protesters can testify, picket and meet lawmakers – they just can’ camp. Democrats who fought the measure were joined by three Republicans: Phil Hart, Janice McGeachin and Tom Trail. Rep. Grant Burgoyne of Boise said he recognized the bill banning camping on the old Ada County Courthouse grounds was constitutional, but believes it sends the wrong message to Idaho residents. In the name of free speech, Burgoyne urged legislators to accommodate even something that offends some members’ sensibilities. The bill now advances to the Senate.