Sponsor pulls bill regarding public access to security video in state-owned buildings

Idaho Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna said Wednesday that  House Bill 207 has been withdrawn. A  hearing scheduled for Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee has been cancelled, Luna said.

The measure was prompted by public records requests for more than 90 hours of Capitol security video by Bryan Carter of Meridian, whose behavior on a January video prompted temporary restrictions in access to the House and Senate chambers. Carter, who was armed with a pistol, photographed legislators’ desks, inspected their paperwork and reached into a trash can.

Video released to Carter last year, an advocate of open-carry gun laws, showed him being questioned by Idaho State Police who asked him to leave a Senate Committee.

HB 207 was opposed by the Idaho Press Club and ACLU, who argued it was an overly broad and unnecessary expansion of an exemption in Idaho’s public records law.

“There were a number of questions about the impact this language would have on other state agencies, local governments, etc.,” Luna said in an email. “I can’t tell you whether or not it will resurface in 2014. We need to gather all concerned parties and see if we can come up with language that is more acceptable.”

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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