BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho House has endorsed increasing fines for violating the state's open meeting law.

Republican Rep. Steven Bateman told House members Monday that the fees hadn't been raised since the original law passed four decades ago. The plan is slated to increase the fine fivefold — from $50 to $250 — in order to cover the cost of inflation. More severe violations could cost up to $2,500. The bill passed 58-11. It now goes to the Senate for approval.

Republican Rep. Stephen Hartgen from Twin Falls asked whether the bill would prevent frivolous use of the act, but Bateman says he isn't aware of any frivolous actions in the past. Bateman's original proposal increased fines tenfold, but a House panel argued that was too high.

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