- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho giant salamander is one step closer to becoming Idaho’s official state amphibian.

The Senate Resources and Environment Committee unanimously voted Wednesday to approve the plan, which is backed by 14-year-old Ilah Hickman.

The salamander lives almost exclusively in Idaho and can grow to be more than a foot long.

Hickman has spent the past five years attempting to convince lawmakers to pass the bill.

The eighth grader stayed home from a spring break vacation with her parents and two younger brothers to testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

Sen. Dean Cameron from Rupert praised Hickman for her persistence and suggested she run for office someday.

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