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Vote delayed for bill banning camping on the Capitol mall

Vote delayed for bill banning camping on the Capitol mall

Mitch Coffman
January 23, 2012
Mitch Coffman
January 23, 2012

On Monday the House State Affairs Committee heard testimony for a second day on House Bill 404. The bill would eliminate camping on the Capitol mall property and similar state properties. Essentially, Occupy Boise would be forced to move.

Testimony followed a similar theme to last Friday when the committee first heard testimony on the bill. Those against it are mostly from the Occupy Boise movement and say that it is their constitutional rights--a First Amendment right--to free speech as well as their right to peaceful assembly.

After two days and nearly five hours of testimony, only one non-legislative person spoke in favor of the bill. However, Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, did voice his opinion in favor of the bill, saying he sees the Occupy Boise  encampment as "nothing but chaos," adding, " This is not the way civilizations move forward."

Also of interest is the fact that the bill contains an emergency clause, which, if passed and signed by the governor, means the bill will become law immediately.

The committee will not here any more testimony but will debate the bill and vote Tuesday morning at 9.

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