Idaho tribe’s bid for liquor license draws foes

Some Idaho lawmakers say an Indian tribe’s historic struggle with alcoholism is reason enough to block it from getting a liquor license for a new $16 million convention center.

The Nez Perce tribe near Lewiston has a beer and wine license, but wants a license to sell cocktails to visitors at the facility as part of its economic development plans.

The measure is now due a public hearing after introduction Tuesday in the House State Affairs Committee.

But Republican Rep. Brent Crane of Nampa says the tribe has struggled with alcoholism and he doesn’t think this will help.

Democratic Rep. John Gannon of Boise countered alcohol problems aren’t confined to Indian reservations — and said it’s easy to observe people struggling with substance abuse on weekend nights in Idaho’s capital.