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BOISE -- A conservative legislator is shaking his fist at the federal government's bureaucracy agenda with a proposal to declare restrictions handed down by the Environmental Protection Act unconstitutional.

Rep. Paul Shepherd, a Republican from Riggins, touted his bill as a way for Idaho to call the shots while disregarding federal regulations on air and water pollution.

In particular, his bill would help dredge miners whose work was being impeded by what they say is unnecessarily restrictive pollution rules.

Although the House State Affairs Committee voted Thursday to send the proposal to a full hearing, it was met with deep skepticism from lawmakers who questioned its legality.

The Idaho Legislature has a history of using largely symbolic legislation as a gesture of defiance against what they view as oppressive government controls.

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