Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2004

FRIDAY, JAN. 30, 2004

No, I mean yes

Because Sen. Brad Little, R-Emmett, has been out for surgery, Carlos Bilbao has been filling in for him for the opening weeks of the session. On Friday, Bilbao sponsored his first bill in the Senate, offering arguments to other senators in favor of passing SB...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 29, 2004

Ambitious debate

Senators got a little testy when they were debating confirmation of Phil Reberger, a top GOP operative and Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s former longtime chief of staff, to the Idaho Judicial Council. The council selects and disciplines judges. Sen. Mike Burkett, D-Boise, said the appointment would...

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One state off

When a van showed up to ferry lawmakers to an Association of Idaho Cities luncheon on Thursday, it was plastered with magnetic AIC logos, but instead of “Famous Potatoes,” the license plates said - oops - “Ski Utah.”

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28, 2004

Rolaids for Reagan

The House State Affairs Committee was so enthusiastic about a resolution to declare "Ronald Reagan Day" on Feb. 6, the day the former GOP president will turn 93, that the panel decided to send the bill to the full House without even waiting for a...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2004

Just cut something else

Sen. Mel Richardson, R-Idaho Falls, has long been a big booster of technology investments for schools, and has pushed for funding each year in the joint budget committee. So Richardson was understandably miffed that Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's budget for next year would slash $5 million...

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MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2004

Protest, terrorism, same thing?

Idaho's current anti-terrorism law goes too far, according to Sen. Mike Burkett, D-Boise, defining terrorism so broadly that it could include someone marching in a Martin Luther King Day demonstration. "I think this statute is just too broad," Burkett, an attorney, told the Senate Judiciary...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 23, 2004

On the defensive

Rep. Wayne Meyer, R-Rathdrum, probably isn't going to go ahead this year with his bill to set up a state-sanctioned legal defense fund for farmers. "The ag community's really not that enthusiastic about going forward, so at this time I'm just going to have it...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 22, 2004

They're partying

Former state Rep. David Bieter, a Boise Democrat, returned to the House on Thursday to address the chamber not as a member, but as the newly elected mayor of Boise.After a warm welcome, he told the assembled representatives, "I have been waiting an awful long...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21, 2004

A bit of overstatement?

St. Maries Rep. Dick Harwood surprised everyone in the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Wednesday when he followed up on a question about the DEQ budget by launching into a little speech, complete with statistics."Back in 1975, Shoshone County generated almost 27 percent of the state's...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 20, 2004

No proximate detracting here

Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis is known for holding forth at great length, in intricate lawyer's language that's not easily quoted. So in typical fashion, the Idaho Falls Republican announced after long months of reflection Tuesday that he's made a decision on whether to run...

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MONDAY, JAN. 19, 2004

Eat up then

Here's how North Idaho College student body president Joel Crane characterized the NIC/CSI lunch with local legislators this week: "You're getting the benefit of free food, and we're getting the benefit of getting to know our legislators."To which an eastern Idaho senator muttered, "We're getting...

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Small slogan, big gain

Idaho has a ton of special license plates for cars to commemorate this and that, but Sen. Kent Bailey, R-Hayden, may be the first to propose a special plate for motorcycles."I love firsts," Bailey chuckled.Of course, there's not much room on the little motorcycle plate...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 16, 2004

Not really that far apart

Though legislators were quick to decry Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's revenue projections for next year as overly optimistic, they really didn't depart much from them when they set their own estimate, which provides a basis for budget-setting. Plus, the Joint Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 15, 2004

Will they or won't they?

State employees are waiting to hear if they'll get raises next year, after being stiffed two straight years by state lawmakers. The joint legislative committee that'll review Gov. Dirk Kempthorne's recommendation for a 2 percent merit raise had been tentatively scheduled to meet, and possibly...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 14, 2004

Statehouse inmates visit big house

Twenty-eight Idaho legislators went on a tour of three state prisons this week, entering a stark, cramped, empty two-person cell, visiting with some of the inmates, and getting baleful glares from those on Death Row through the small windows in their cell doors.(In photo, from...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 13, 2004

Stop that ringing

After at least one loud, jangling cell phone went off during the prayer that opened the joint session of the Legislature on Monday night for the State of the State address, House Speaker Bruce Newcomb brandished the heavy wooden gavel he uses to call the...

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MONDAY, JAN. 12, 2004

The Idaho-Mongolia connection

As Idaho's lawmakers convened their session, they were joined by a delegation of government officials from - where else? - Mongolia. House Speaker Bruce Newcomb got to play the diplomat, as he told the group, "Of course we're always interested in how other governments work,...

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Lawmakers clash

When Sen. Edgar Malepeai accompanied a delegation from the Senate to the House to report that the chamber was ready for business, House Speaker Bruce Newcomb expressed doubts about whether Malepeai's attire met the House dress code. But the bright-awful-orange shirt, clashing orange tie, and...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 9, 2004

Who's afraid of the big mad cow?

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (shown at right with U.S. Rep. Butch Otter, R-Idaho) bit into a freshly barbecued, juicy-hot double hamburger at a beef rally across from the state Capitol on Friday, and encouraged Idahoans to keep eating beef, despite a mad cow scare in...

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Eight miles, more bucks

Acting University of Idaho President Gary Michael charmed a joint legislative committee on employee compensation with his wit and business knowledge from his many years as CEO of the Albertson's grocery store chain. But he also had some tough news for the lawmakers: UI is...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 7, 2004

Saving time and words?

State officials are serious about not letting this year's legislative session run as long as last year's record-long, 118-day marathon _ so serious that Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has decided to do away with the traditional two opening speeches of the session, the State of the...

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MONDAY, JAN. 5, 2004

Not THAT desperate

With states across the country pressed for cash, a few are looking at selling naming rights to state parks, highways, bridges and other landmarks – especially if it means avoiding tax hikes.South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said, "We ought to try to be innovative....

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.






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