Senate Passes Second Anti-Occupy Bill 28-7

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The Senate today passed another measure aimed at ousting the Occupiers in front of the Old Ada County Courthouse. House Bill 693 passed 28-7, with all Senate Democrats and some Republicans voting against the bill.

Consideration of the bill was short, the reading dispensed with by Nampa Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie. He said that while the law would give the Department of Administration the power to make rules governing state property, and the ability to sue individuals who continually violate those rules, it isn't aimed at Occupy Boise.

"You cannot do by rule what you can’t do by statute," said Sen. McKenzie. "If there is a constitutional limitation on what we could do, with regard to any type of speech or assembly, or petition to the Legislature, they couldn’t make a rule that would affect that."

However, Ketchum Democrat Sen. Michelle Stennett questioned giving Teresa Luna and the Department of Admininstration final say on Capitol Mall lands.

"It’s putting a lot of power in one director over the entire complex," said Sen. Stennett. "They could sue not just on a threat, but on the perception of a threat. There is no authority [for the Legislature] to undo that."

The Legislature may adjourn sine die by this afternoon.

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