Idaho state Capitol fall 10-21-19

Idaho’s state Capitol, shown on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.

More than four months after Idaho’s Speaker of the House and Senate Pro Tem sued the state’s treasurer over a debate about the use of space in the Capitol, attorneys have not yet started arguing the facts of the case. They’re still waiting on a judge to decide if the case belongs in court, writes Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons. They sparred over that question for roughly an hour in court Thursday. In the end, 4th District Court Judge Nancy Baskin took the issue under advisement, and said she would issue a written opinion later.

In June, House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill, in their official capacity as lawmakers, sued state Treasurer Julie Ellsworth. The suit has its origins in an effort by the Idaho Legislature earlier this year to appropriate money to build more offices for lawmakers and staff. That effort was unsuccessful, but if it had been, it would have required the Treasurer’s Office to move from the first floor of the Statehouse, where it has been for more than a century. The lawmakers pointed to a state law that gives the Legislature control of the first floor of the Capitol. Ellsworth’s attorney, David Leroy, has asked Baskin to dismiss the case, and that was why both sides of the suit were in court Thursday.

You can read Simmons' full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's Idaho Press.

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