BOISE — Idaho is a step closer to forming a permanent committee of state lawmakers to consider federal lands issues.
The House State Affairs Committee voted 13-3 Wednesday to send to the full House the bill to form the Idaho Council on Federal Lands, comprised of four members from the House and four from the Senate.
Republican Rep. Judy Boyle told lawmakers the committee will focus on working with federal agencies to solve problems involving taxation and land use issues -- and report findings to the Legislature.
Lawmakers questioned the estimated cost of $10,000 to $15,000 annually, given the committee will be authorized to hire attorneys.
Boyle says the committee is not a new version of a previous committee that spent more than $100,000 looking at ways for the state to take control of federal lands.
(by Keith Ridler, Associated Press)