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BOISE — The Idaho House has voted down a bill that would have given first responders immunity for breaking into a vehicle to save a dog or cat.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, and Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, failed 24-45. Local Republicans Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, Kevin Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, and Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom, broke with the majority of their caucus to back the measure.

“It’s a simple bill,” Smith said. “It’s civil immunity (and) immunity from criminal prosecution for first responders.”

A majority of lawmakers, however, apparently agreed with Rep. Gary Marshall, R-Idaho Falls, who said he worried the bill could lead to unintended consequences.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.

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