The Legislature's most outlandish quote machine, Rep. Lenore Barrett, R-Challis, won laughs from an audience including about a dozen students Thursday with her use of strip poker as a metaphor for legislative strategy.
Barrett, a miner and investor who's been giving good quote for 18 years, strongly opposes a 66-page revision of Idaho urban renewal law drafted by an attorney for Boise's Capital City Development Corporation. Barrett objected to using House Bill 567 as a template for reform and possible incorporation of six other bills generally opposed by redevelopment agencies across the state.
"I'm not supporting 567 as a template," Barrett said. "That's like playing strip poker. This was written by the people who are all on one side of the issue."
Added Barrett: "If you're gonna play strip poker, the first thing you give up is your tie. That's no big deal. You just sit around hoping that you don't have to give up your underwear. Well, you're not playing strip poker unless you have to give up your underwear."
That line brought laughter from about 30 adults in the room and delighted tittering among the high school kids at the back. Said Rep. Ken Roberts, "Mr. Chairman, I don't know how to follow that."
Barrett is a member of a subcommittee of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee that spent three days this week hearing about five hours of testimony on redevelopment reform.
She got her way.
The committee ran out of time Thursday morning, but agreed to vote on the six other measures, House Bills 568, 569, 570, 571, 572 and 578. Only then will the panel take up the agency-backed bill, which is sponsored by Revenue and Taxation Committee Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot.
If the committee fails to reach consensus, it may recommend to the full committee that it request an interim committee to consider reform.
A date has not been yet been set for the seven-member committee to meet again and vote.
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