Idaho Senate rejects Capitol protest rules

Sen. Curt McKenzie

Sen. Curt McKenzie

The Idaho Senate has voted unanimously to reject rules that sought to limit hours and locations of protests at the Capitol, saying the Department of Administration’s proposal was too extreme.

Before Friday’s vote, Senator Curt McKenzie of Nampa said he worried limiting when and where protesters could gather, as well as forbidding them from using loudspeakers in most circumstances, “had gone a little too far” in restricting people’s ability to express their opinions.

The House is taking similar action against the rules proposed by the agency, which arose as a response to the semi-permanent Occupy Boise vigil of 2011-2012.

Director Teresa Luna’s original proposal drew the ire of lawmakers who said they feared the limits, while perhaps well meaning, were unconstitutional.

Under the new rules, overnight camping would still be prohibited.  (AP)

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