Bill to create Idaho federalism committee signed into law

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Legislation to create a panel of lawmakers that will monitor how federal laws affect Idaho's sovereignty has been signed into law by Republican Gov. Brad Little.

Little late last week signed the bill to create the panel that will include 10 lawmakers, but additional members can be added to subcommittees if needed to look at particular issues.

The amended version also only allows the committee to hire private attorneys if both the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tem approve.

About 62 percent, or 51,000 square miles (132,000 square kilometers), of the state is managed by the federal government. The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service approve grazing permits, logging contracts and mining operations. Some contend that federal agencies place too many restrictions on those lands.

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