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Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 1, 2008

TUESDAY, FEB. 5, 2008

Merrill to run for House – but which seat?

Former Eagle Mayor Nancy Merrill has announced she’ll run for the state House from District 14, but the GOP candidate hasn’t decided which seat she’ll seek. The two seats from that district currently are held by House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, and freshman Rep....

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Emergency declaration expanded

Gov. Butch Otter has added five more counties to his disaster declaration due to the extreme winter storm conditions up north. Last week, Otter declared disaster emergencies for Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Latah counties. Now, he’s added Benewah, Clearwater, Fremont, Power and Shoshone counties. The...

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MONDAY, FEB. 4, 2008

Judge: Duncan evidence won’t be suppressed

A federal judge has rejected motions by Joseph Duncan’s defense attorneys to suppress evidence seized from Duncan’s vehicle, which he was driving when he was found with young Shasta Groene, the only survivor of Duncan’s bloody attack on her family. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge...

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House passes driver's license bill, 47-21

HB 366, legislation designed to deny driver’s licenses to those without documentation that they’re legally in the United States, just passed the House on a 47-21 vote, despite concerns raised by some representatives that the bill is flawed, and actually would deny driver’s licenses to...

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Grocery tax bill killed

The House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted 10-8 to kill HB 439, the grocery tax relief bill. Read my full story here. The vote came after a hearing that stretched for more than two hours in a stiflingly hot, jam-packed committee room. Fifteen people...

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Senators: Otter muzzling agency directors?

The Senate State Affairs Committee, which includes top members of leadership from both parties, today grilled Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, Wayne Hammon, about word that state agency heads have been told not to share information with the Legislature about anything other than those items...

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Senators looking to oust 3 board members

The Senate Education Committee, which has expressed strong concerns about budgetary blunders at the state Board of Education and plans to grill all eight board members about it, also may push for ousting some of the board’s members. "I'm not going to be satisfied until...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 2, 2008

‘It gave me hope’

Nineteen-year-old Michelle Butler, a college student from Boise, came away inspired – both by presidential candidate Barack Obama’s words and by the outpouring of support from Idahoans. “I was absolutely amazed at how many people showed up – that absolutely blew my mind,” she said....

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'Students made the difference'

Rallying the crowd, Idaho Obama volunteers T.J. Thomson and Kassi Cerami led the crowd in sending text messages with their cell phones that will get the senders regular updates on the Obama campaign, and talked up the upcoming caucus. Even 17-year-olds can participate in Tuesday’s...

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Why folks are here

Here’s why Lori Wielenga of Boise, decided to come down to Taco Bell Arena on a cold, snowy morning to see a Democratic presidential candidate speak: “I support Barack, and I’m interested to see him in person, and I’m also proud that a politican decided...

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Huge crowd for Obama event

Traffic is backed up around BSU, lines to get in are stretching around the building and through the campus, and the crowd inside already is huge for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s appearance in Boise this morning. When I checked in at 7:30 a.m., I was...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 1, 2008

Lobbyist decides not to help set lawmakers' pay

Twin Falls Times-News reporter Jared Hopkins reported today that Gov. Butch Otter appointed his former chief of staff, Jeff Malmen – now a corporate lobbyist – to the committee that determines state legislators’ compensation. When the Times-News inquired about the quiet appointment, Malmen switched course...

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DEQ: 'Very close' on field-burning legislation

Idaho DEQ Director Toni Hardesty, quizzed by JFAC members as to when Idaho will be moving forward to re-legalize field-burning, said legislation is in the works to set up a new air quality program required by a settlement between all the parties. “We’re very close,...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 31, 2008


Mayors want local-option tax bill considered

Mayors from around the state gathered in a big clump after the Association of Idaho Cities legislative luncheon today, and joined transportation advocates to speak out for consideration of legislation to allow local-option taxes to fund transportation improvements, from roads to transit. The bill is...

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AP: French uranium enricher lobbying Idaho

A French government-controlled nuclear energy company is looking to possibly build a uranium enrichment facility in Idaho, the AP’s John Miller reports, and has hired Erika Malmen, wife of Gov. Butch Otter's former chief of staff, Jeff Malmen, to lobby Otter and state legislators. The...

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A tax hike that's got support

Here’s a tax increase that’s winning strong support – from the Idaho House, no less. The House just voted 51-16 in favor of HB 359, to increase the fuel tax on aviation gasoline and jet fuel by 1.5 cents per gallon. But there’s a reason:...

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Here's the scoop on the Obama visit

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s visit to Boise will be for an early-morning rally on Saturday at Taco Bell Arena. The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign says doors will open at 7 a.m. The event is free, but people planning to attend are asked to RSVP by...

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Idaho lakes being cleared of milfoil

An aggressive state effort to eradicate invasive milfoil from Idaho lakes is resulting in “a significant reduction in Eurasian water milfoil populations statewide,” state Ag Director Celia Gould told legislative budget writers this morning. “In the past two seasons, all known lake populations in Idaho...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30, 2008

Rammell plans baboon ads in Senate race

The crowded GOP race for the retiring Sen. Larry Craig’s seat will swing onto the airwaves with the Super Bowl this Sunday, according to candidate Rex Rammell. The former elk rancher from eastern Idaho is spending $30,000 to purchase airtime across the state for a...

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So much for the non-issue of the session...

After a lively debate, two motions, and then an 11-7 vote to pass the bill, state Liquor Dispensary Superintendent Dyke Nally chided me for saying earlier, at the Boise City Club, that his bill to end the ban on Election Day liquor sales was “insignificant,”...

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No compromise yet on grocery tax

House GOP Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts says he “misspoke” yesterday when he said lawmakers and the governor had reached a compromise in the new grocery tax bill introduced this morning. “I had a misunderstanding, a miscommunication with the governor’s office,” Roberts said. “I maybe misread...

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Grocery tax bill introduced

With a unanimous vote, the House Revenue & Taxation Committee has voted to introduce a grocery tax credit increase with a complicated mechanism that would give the poorest Idahoans a bigger boost, but still would give all Idahoans an increase. The change would cost the...

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Snow day for the Boise schools

Boise schools have declared their first snow day in a decade, on a day when Bogus Basin ski resort is buried in fresh powder. I have one very ecstatic 14-year-old son. Alas for me, the Legislature still is in session.

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