by Andrew Crisp
The full House today voted to approve a bill that would give the Department of Administration, the body responsible for the land on which Occupy Boise has been camping since November 2011, authorization over state property and the power to make rules governing its use.
In an almost party-line vote with Moscow Republican Rep. Tom Trail joining House Democrats to vote no, the House voted 55-14 in favor.
If it passes the full Senate, the department would have the authority to create new rules related to the Old Ada County Courthouse lands, despite a judge's order related to sleeping on the property.
"This keeps in place [Judge B. Lynn Winmill's] order, and the judge has equated the erection of monuments as symbolic speech," said Oakley Republican Rep. Scott Bedke on March 20. "But if the erection of monuments is speech now, or expression, then it becomes no different than the four pages of rules we have if you’re going to exercise your First Amendment rights on the Capitol steps."