It looks like 13-year-old Ilah Hickman will have to spend a fifth year trying to convince lawmakers that Idaho needs a state amphibian in the person of the Idaho giant salamander.
Though the Senate passed Senate Bill 1271 on a 33-2 vote Feb. 26, a skeptical House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher has been sitting on the bill since and now says it’s too late for a hearing.
Hickman, a seventh-grader at Les Bois Junior High School in Boise, lobbied House Speaker Scott Bedke Wednesday, while she waited to buttonhole Loertscher. Bedke told her he wouldn’t press Loertscher, R-Iona, to schedule the bill.
As chronicled by Clark Corbin of Idaho Education News, Hickman didn’t give up, hanging around the House for two hours until she finally got her meeting with Mr. Chairman.
Loertscher quizzed Hickman on state symbols — flower, bird, raptor — and was suitably impressed. But Corbin reports that while apparently charmed, Loertscher was unmoved on the pertinent policy question.
“(Designating state symbols is) a strange concept to me,” Loertscher told Hickman. “I don’t know why we do this.”
Hickman told Corbin: “If he doesn’t pass it, I will come back next year until they pass it.”