Idaho Senate rejects time and loudspeaker restrictions on Occupy Boise-prompted rules

The Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday rejected three sections of a 39-page rule that was adopted in response to the 2012 Occupy Boise protest.

Three rule sections were rejected: A seven-day limit on protests and other events; all time restrictions, including a ban on events on the main Capitol steps between midnight and 6 a.m., and a requirement for a permit to use an amplifying device and a provision allowing police or Statehouse security to shut down a "disruptive" event.

The changes were urged by the Senate's two top leaders, President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, and Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls. The panel spent almost two hours on the issue Wednesday and also discussed the matter Tuesday.

The rest of the rules were approved, regulating use of building interiors, the Capitol block and the entire Capitol Mall.

Hill and Davis want the Department of Administration to rework the rules, which were adopted after lawmakers required the department to accelerate rule-making last year. Davis said he regrets the the Legislature didn't give the department more time.

The committee's two Democrats agreed to the rules for inside the Capitol, but urged rejection of all the rules governing the Capitol grounds and Mall.

The House State Affairs Commmittee must also act on the rules. For the Senate's rejection to take effect, the House committee must agree to the Senate committee's action.

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