As promised Democrats at the statehouse have started their protest of not getting hearings on a pair of bills they would like to see get a committee hearing.  The democrats begin their protest by forcing legislation to be read in its entirety. A day earlier, House Minority Leader John Rusche of Lewiston warned that the Republican majority's refusal to schedule hearings for a bill to raise the cigarette tax by $1.25 to shore up the budget shortfall as well as a proposed referendum on Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's education reforms would have consequences - including delays like this. Democrats contend GOP lawmakers are gutting government in their zeal to pass partisan legislation and hold the line on taxes. No word yet on how long the democrats will continue the protest or if republicans will give in and give the two measures a hearing.

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