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Panel rejects repeal of urban renewal law, holds bonding requirement legislation

Panel rejects repeal of urban renewal law, holds bonding requirement legislation

Dustin Hurst
February 29, 2012
Dustin Hurst
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February 29, 2012

After two days of testimony on the issue, lawmakers on the House Local Government Committee rejected Nampa Republican Rep. Robert Schaefer’s bid to repeal Idaho’s urban renewal law.

The measure was rejected on a 5-4 vote. This is the second straight year Schaefer’s legislation has failed in committee.

Schaefer told committee members that urban renewal law is unclear and agencies operating under it lack proper oversight and accountability. His legislation would have repealed the law and allowed lawmakers time to rewrite a more acceptable law. It wouldn’t have eliminated existing urban renewal districts, but it would have stopped new ones from forming.

The Twin Falls Times¬-News also reports that Donnelly Republican Rep. Ken Roberts’ bill to require a two-thirds vote of approval before agencies can take on debt was held so changes can be made.

Roberts believes that urban renewal districts should be held to the same standards as cities and counties, which are required to garner a two-thirds vote from residents prior to bonding. Critics of Roberts’ legislation argue that would prevent agencies from acting quickly to attract businesses with subsidies and incentives.

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