Tribal Peace Officer Bill HB111 Passes Committee

The House Judiciary and Rules Committee took testimony from 1:30 until about 7 pm, and then debated HB 111. The bill allows POST trained tribal officers to issue citations and summons to non tribal persons on reservations as long as the citation is for state offenses and the person is sent to state court. It would also allow arrests by non-tribal persons for state offenses if taken to the nearest county facility. There was lengthy testimony from tribal members and officers, county sheriff’s, prosecutors, commissioners, and members of the public from across the state. There were good arguments on both sides. Debate included three motions, the first to hold the bill in committee, the substitute motion to send to the floor with a do pass, and the third motion to send to General Orders (Amending order) but without amendments, allowing the parties to negotiate more. The motion to send to General orders went down by one vote. I voted against, because it did not appear from the testimony that the parties would read an agreement. I favored holding the bill as it appeared to be a local issue that should be dealt with by local elected officials. These issues have been dealt with by agreement in the past. However, the bill passed out to the Floor on an 8-6 vote. So we will revisit it on the House floor, perhaps next week. The bill arises out of a dispute in Benewah County.


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