Farmers Insurance Group thinks the Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston, Washington, area is one of the most secure places to live in the United States and Idaho House Minority LeaderJohn Rusche, D-Lewiston, wants to commend the two cities for earning the recognition.
According to astudy released by the insurance company in December 2009, the Lewiston-Clarkston area ranks as the No.1 most secure small city (population under 150,000), up from its sixth place finish last year. The study states that the area's job growth, low crime rates, and "excellent business climate" contributed to the top-spot ranking. Farmers also noted that the area's access to the Pacific Ocean also provided a boost in the area's status.
Rusche appeared before the House State Affairs Committee pitching a resolution celebrating the area's ranking in the Farmers study, saying he is proud of the designation and proud of the efforts of the citizens in the area.
The resolution drew fire from Rep.Russ Matthews, R-Idaho Falls, who took exception to celebrating only one specific portion of the state over others.
"It’s like deciding which part of Idaho grows the best potatoes," said Matthews, who then moved to kill the bill.
Rusche said that the research was performed by an "outside agency" and that there is no favoritism in the bill, just recognition. Other lawmakers were quick to defend the resolution. Rep.Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and Rep.Anne Pasley-Stuart, R-Boise, both praised the people of Lewiston for receiving the award.
"Lewiston has done a tremendous job," said Pasley-Stuart.
The resolution passed the committee and now moves to the House floor.
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