Not yet open, Idaho Capitol is scene of dispute




BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Capitol renovations aren't yet complete, but
a dustup has already erupted over a new rule limiting public
exhibitions to a single floor.

The Idaho Capitol Commission, which oversees the century-old
building, voted in August to restrict events to the fourth floor
once it reopens Jan. 9 after two years and $122 million in
taxpayer-funded expense.

The rule is meant to protect the building from activities that
might damage the structure.

But Buy Idaho, a nonprofit group with 1,100 members, normally
spreads out on three rotunda floors for its annual display of Gem
State goods and services.

Director Dale Peterson says being banished to one floor will
hamper spreading the word about Idaho products to lawmakers,
something he finds especially galling amid the deepest recession in

The Legislature is now intervening and hopes to settle the
dispute at a Capitol Commission meeting next week.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-11-11-09 1316MST<

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