Rep. Joe Palmer Introduces Speed Limit Bill, Discloses Children 'All Had Speeding Tickets'


Meridian Republican Rep. Joe Palmer was the target of some needling from his colleagues in the House State Affairs Committee this morning.

Palmer caught some heat last week after unveiling a bill that would disable parking meters near the Statehouse during the legislative session. On its cover, the measure sparked some earnest debate over the impact of free parking outside the Capitol. But Palmer caught some major flack when he refused to disclose that his son's car had been towed from a Capitol Mall parking spot on Jan. 9, after running up $186 in unpaid parking tickets during the 2011 session.

This morning, Palmer introduced another bill on behalf of Twin Falls Republican Rep. Leon Smith which would shift authority on setting speed limits on state highways that run through municipalities from local authority back to the Idaho Department of Transportation.

"We found that when speed limits were adjusted by cities, they're causing more accidents and making it less safe," said Palmer. "That's what happens when you pull in emotional factors rather than engineering standards."

The committee agreed to print the bill and set a full hearing on the measure.

But before Palmer was through, he had something else to say:

"I probably should have invoked Rule 38," he said, referring to the requirement of conflict-of-interest disclosures.

"I do have four children, and at one time or another they have all had speeding tickets," said Palmer.