New transportation plan fumbles before being introduced

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The latest version of a massive transportation proposal almost died before even being introduced in the Idaho Legislature after the bill’s sponsor didn’t show up on time.

Sen. Bert Brackett on Wednesday was supposed to present a new multi-million funding proposal designed to funnel more money to the state’s aging roads and bridges. It was a tweak from a similar proposal introduced last week but included new items, like allowing cities and counties to impose a 1 percent sales-tax option for transportation projects.

Yet the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee was forced to adjourn after Bracket wasn’t in the room.

Brackett showed up minutes after the committee had left.

Republican Sen. Patti Ann Lodge, chairwoman of the panel, then worked with Bracket to use a rare legislative procedure known as a “buck-slip,” which allows the bill to be moved to a legislative hearing if every committee member signs off on the request slip.