Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Department of Administration: Occupy Boise Has Cost State $9,000

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 9:56 AM

The Idaho House State Affairs Committee is expected to vote this morning on House Bill 404, the measure that would make it legal to evict the Occupy Boise encampment from the grounds in front of the old Ada County Courthouse.

But before the vote, lawmakers heard from Teresa Luna, director of the Department of Administration, testifying in favor of the bill.

"We searched our statutes and rules, looking for something to point to that would have allowed us to deny this type of activity," said Luna. "We found very specific guidelines on how to manage the buildings and even the parking lots, but the law was silent regarding the grounds around the Capitol Mall."

Luna said her department, and taxpayers, had already incurred some cost related to the Occupy Boise encampment. She testified that the movement had cost her department $9,000, including the expense of an extra security officer and the removal of some graffiti.

"We're not trying to end freedom of speech," said Luna. "We're trying to end camping on admin properties."

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