Senate panel dumps bill aimed at invasive species - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Senate panel dumps bill aimed at invasive species

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BOISE, Idaho. - Senators rejected a measure meant to help law enforcement officials stop invasive species at Idaho's borders, saying it would give authorities too much leeway to flag people down and seize their property.
     
The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee voted 5-3 against making it a misdemeanor to not halt at an inspection station to allow scrutiny of any vehicle or conveyance that could transport an invasive species.
     
Sen. Brent Hill, a Rexburg Republican, feared this ran afoul of the Constitution.
     
Lloyd Knight, a Department of Agriculture official, said the bill was broadly written so his agency could react quickly, should an unexpected invasive species crisis emerge.
     
Idaho is already inspecting out-of-state boats crossing into Idaho, to protect against species such as quagga mussels.
     
At some of Idaho's 18 check stations, compliance was good, but on U.S. Interstate 90 on the Idaho-Washington border, Knight estimates only about 20 percent of people stopped to be inspected.

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