BOISE -- The Idaho Senate is considering a way to outmaneuver the city of Boise in its dispute over a new Capitol parking garage.
The Senate State Affairs Committee introduced a bill on Friday that would exempt the state from Boise planning rules and regulations for projects on Capitol mall grounds.
Last year, lawmakers approved a multi-story, 580-stall parking facility to help ease the state government-parking squeeze.
I think the parking situation here at the State Capitol is not very good, said Representative Brandon Hixon of Caldwell when asked about the issue. I'm brand-new to the legislature but I know that we re-did this beautiful capitol and it's a gorgeous building and I think one thing that it's really lacking is parking for the people who want to come testify in committee or talk to different legislators about their issues or things of that nature. And unfortunately, you have the parking garage here that's state but during the session, the whole third floor gets taken up by legislators parking, so that kicks a lot of the employees out at the same time. So I think there is going to need
However, in January, a city review committee rejected a portion of the design plans -- a decision later upheld by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission. State officials are appealing to the city council.
If the appeal fails, Boise Republican Sen. Chuck Winder says his bill allows the state to proceed with construction without city approval.
The committee will debate the bill next week.
The Boise City Council will hear the state's proposal to the city in mid-April. The city could not comment, because the issue still has to go before the council.