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Posts published in “Day: March 20, 2006”

Protest capital?

Could be that no other city in the country outdid Portland last weekend in protesting the war in Iraq. Maybe.

Police in Portland figured the crowd size at close to 10,000 - a fairly large group, even by Portland standards.

That contrasts with the New York Times report of other protests around the country: "The administration could take heart this weekend from the relatively small antiwar protests around the country, compared with protests held on the previous anniversaries of the invasion. An estimated 7,000 people demonstrated in Chicago on Saturday and smaller protests were held over the weekend in Boston, San Francisco and other cities. In Times Square, the figure was about 1,000."

Something seems not quite right here. Was Portland that much an anomaly, or were turnouts elsewhere seriously underestimated?

The bounds of open and secret

Article III Section 12 of the Idaho Constitution says, in simple and direct language, the following: "The business of each house, and
of the committee of the whole shall be transacted openly and not in secret
session." That is all it says on the subject of openness in the Idaho Legislature.

Now let's imagine a hypothetical bill: HB001, which follows the usual path to adoption. It surfaces in a House committee, which votes to recommend it be introduced by the full House. Sent to the House floor, it is formally introduced and read for the first time, and then - this is what happened to almost all bills - it is sent to a committee, which reviews it. The committee may decide to "hold" - kill - it, or suggest amendments, or send it as is back to the House floor for a vote there. In this case, the bill is given a "do pass" recommendation, returned to the House floor, where it is read (in very abbreviated form) for a second time, and then, a day or two later, for a third time. It then is voted on and, if passed, it is sent to the Senate, where the same process more or less repeats. If the Senate, too, passes it, it goes to the governor for signature or veto.

From the moment of its introduction until it either dies or is sent to the governor, the bill has a continuous history in the House and Senate. When the bill is sent from the House floor to a committee for further review, that is an action of - part of "the business of" - the House; and what happens to it there is surely also a part of the business of the House. One would think. (more…)