Those who come to the Statehouse in downtown Boise during the next legislative session will be able to watch committee proceedings without disrupting hearings. The state, under the direction of the Legislative Council, spent $5,244 to install glass panes in committee room doors in the two lower wings of the Capitol.
The alteration comes less than a year after contractors completed a renovation and expansion of the building. The project, which took about two years to finish, cost $127 million and was funded through a temporary increase in the cigarette tax in the state.
The panel approved the glass panes at its June 4 meeting to help reduce noise in committee rooms during the legislative session. Several lawmakers, including Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said they wanted the public to be able to see as much of committee hearings as possible without disrupting proceedings. "I prefer the clear glass so people can see if they want to come in or not,” said Lodge. She said she often left her committee room doors open to involve the public. Sen. Joe Stegner, R-Lewiston, who pitched the Capitol alterations to fellow lawmakers, said that windows could reduce foot traffic from interested parties who only wanted to see what goes on during committee hearings. "The whole point of the glass is to allow people to walk by and see what’s going on inside without opening the door,” said Stegner.
The money used to fund the project was left over from the original cost of Capitol renovation project.
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