Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 2005

MONDAY, JAN. 31, 2005

Courthouse remodel goes down

After a debate that ran well into the lunch hour, the Idaho Senate defeated SCR 102, the bill to remodel the old Ada County Courthouse, on a 16-18 vote. Sen. Hal Bunderson, R-Meridian, led the opposition, arguing that a remodeled version of the historic structure...

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Just think what they could do

Beautiful, startling images of Idaho’s landscape, wildlife and people soared across the display screens as Idaho Public Television General Manager Peter Morrill presented his budget request and an update on IPTV to legislative budget writers. But there was also a caricatured image of Morrill that...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 2005

Marriage amendment clears committee

After a hearing that stretched for more than three hours and saw dozens of people give heartfelt testimony on both sides, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted 5-4 – with no discussion at all – to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 2005

Two girls for every boy...

North Idaho College President Michael Burke has been making the rounds of legislative committees, giving his budget pitch to JFAC this morning and briefing the House and Senate education committees yesterday. At the Senate Ed Committee, he revealed that NIC’s enrollment is now 63 percent...

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Dueling press conferences?

How could this happen? Groups both opposing and supporting the anti-gay marriage amendment have scheduled press conferences today – both at noon, both on the second floor of the state Capitol, both apparently unaware that the other will be there, too.The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 26, 2005

One's closed, the other's open

It’s happened again, for a second day in a row. The House Majority Caucus met behind closed doors for about 45 minutes to discuss the state budget, including presentations from experts on various line items and how the budget works. At the same time, the...

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Crowd had other things on its mind

Sandpoint Police Chief Mark Lockwood had a full house this morning when he briefed the Senate State Affairs Committee on the work of the Statewide Interoperability Executive Council, which he chairs. The committee room was standing-room only, and people spilled out the doorway. “The events...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 25, 2005

Packed room, no decision

After almost two hours of heated testimony and questioning, the Senate Transportation Committee decided by one vote this afternoon to delay a decision on a bill that would mandate all gasoline sold in Idaho be at least 10 percent ethanol by 2010. On a 5-4...

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MONDAY, JAN. 24, 2005

'Welcome to the inquisition'

Senators on the Senate Education Committee grilled state Board of Education member Karen McGee for an hour today at her re-confirmation hearing, on everything from concerns about charter schools to a new alternate teacher-certification test.“Welcome to the inquisition,” said Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur...

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The guv was there

When the Red Hot Mamas from Hayden went by in the inaugural parade, there was a familiar face standing at the side of President George W. Bush – Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.Kempthorne, who spent the past week in Washington, D.C. working with other governors to...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 21, 2005

Changing the rules

Senate Republican leaders want to change the Senate’s internal rules to allow official Senate committee meetings to be closed for any reason. They also want to delete a section of the Senate’s internal rules that notes that if there’s a conflict between the rules and...

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Not what she said

Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, had questions when legislative budget writers were reviewing budget requests from the state’s public health districts. Among them: Why, when an employee retires, they get credit only for half of their unused sick leave, rather than all of it. Some...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 20, 2005

Senators impressed by judges

Senators on the Health & Welfare Committee were so impressed by a presentation from 1st District Judge John T. Mitchell from Coeur d’Alene and 7th District Judge Brent Moss from Idaho Falls that they want to see the two judges’ “mental health courts” expanded statewide....

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Fish are people too?

Those friendly folks at PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, put on a little demonstration in Boise today to let people know that “Fish are Friends, Not Food.”At the Skipper’s seafood restaurant, the group pushed its “fish empathy project,” which, according to the...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 19, 2005

And for the next act...

The entire state Capitol has turned into something of a three-ring circus today, with the first, second and third floors of its ornate central rotunda crowded with displays, booths, and crowds of browsers sampling Idaho products. It’s the annual “Buy Idaho” show, which showcases dozens...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 18, 2005

Not the conventional wisdom

Legislative budget writers usually talk about saving money by privatizing government services, but this morning, the Department of Health & Welfare told them they could save millions by doing the opposite – “in-sourcing” a bunch of information technology workers who now are outside contractors.“The state...

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MONDAY, JAN. 17, 2005

Everybody's doing it

Citing the many health benefits of cannabis, medical marijuana activist Tim Teater outlined a proposal to legalize the drug at a press conference at the Capitol this afternoon. In front a smattering of reporters and cameras, Teater said it’s time for Idaho to join other...

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So that's the word

What do you call a third-year college student who’s in her second year at North Idaho College? A “super-sophomore.” That’s according to Heather Erikson, NIC student body president and super-soph.

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THURSDAY, JAN. 13, 2005

Crow opens door

House Tax Chairwoman Dolores Crow, R-Nampa, has cracked open the door to reconsidering Idaho’s numerous sales tax exemptions. For years, Crow has been the chief opponent of re-examining exemptions, and has thwarted attempts. But this week, she said it might be time to take another...

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Unemployment compromise reached

Here’s an unlikely prospect: Business and labor sitting down together to work out a plan for increased unemployment taxes on businesses and reduced benefits for workers. But that’s really what’s happened. Today, the state Department of Commerce and Labor unveiled compromise legislation on Idaho’s unemployment...

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Two Shepherds among the flock

There are two Rep. Shepherds in the House of Representatives now – Rep. Mary Lou Shepherd, D-Prichard, now is joined by Rep. Paul Shepherd, R-Riggins, who defeated longtime Democratic Rep. Chuck Cuddy in the fall election. To make matters just a bit more confusing, when...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 11, 2005

Safety in the Statehouse

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne had just finished detailing all the safety problems in the state Capitol, as part of his pitch in his State of the State address for renovating the historic structure.“Thousands of children visit this building every year,” the governor said. “Yet the only...

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MONDAY, JAN. 10, 2005

Activists rally for health care

Less than an hour after the legislature convened, backers of an all-inclusive health care system gathered on the Capitol steps to plead their case.With white signs that read “Insure Idaho!” about 150 Idahoans rallied over rising health and prescription drug costs, the increasing burden on...

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SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2005

The Legislature's here

At noon on Monday, the House and Senate will convene, and then, at 7 p.m. Mountain time, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne will give his combined State of the State address and budget message to a joint session of the Idaho Legislature. This is it – the...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2005

9th Circuit says 'pimp' can be compliment

According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, “rollin’ deep” means “driving along in a cool car;” “kick flavor” means “to perform, to be entertaining; to “scope” means to “evaluate a member of the opposite sex visually;” and a “hottie” is “an attractive or sexually...

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Eye On Boise

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






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