Idaho House passes business incentives bill

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho cities could have an additional $3 million in tools to attract businesses to their communities through a bill approved by the House.

The Idaho Opportunity Fund passed through the House on a 59-8 vote Friday and will now go to the Senate. Under the legislation, towns would be eligible for money to use on infrastructure projects, like new roads, that companies looking to relocate in Idaho might require.

The proposal requires local governments to match any state grants.

Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Jeff Thompson said it also includes oversight measures meant to hold businesses accountable. Companies promising an economic windfall are required to prove their benefits before they get state funds.

Rep. Pete Nielsen, of Mountain Home, said Idaho should focus on mandatory services instead of creating new grants.