Barbara Ehardt

Barbara Ehardt

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Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, would like to “remove local government's ability to use the misdemeanor penalty when creating local ordinances,” writes Post Register reporter Sally Krutzig. Under Ehardt's bill, a first-time violation of any city or county law would receive no more than a $25 fine. The House Judiciary & Rules Committee agreed Monday to introduce the bill, clearing the way for a possible full hearing.

“Misdemeanors carry a criminal element and thus should only be created, outlined and implemented by the state,” the bill's statement of purpose states.

Ordinances are laws created by local government bodies. Misdemeanors play a significant role in many ordinances. Idaho Falls ordinances, which are outlined in a 617-page document, cover every aspect of the city. Ordinances include zoning, building code violations, building licensing, discrimination and animal control.

You can read Krutzig's full story here at (subscription required), or pick up Saturday's print edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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