Eye On Boise archive for Feb. 2008

FRIDAY, FEB. 29, 2008

But 30 pounds per person would be more...

When Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, made the motion to introduce the new grocery tax relief bill in Rev & Tax this morning, he noted a “grammatical correction” needed in the bill’s statement of purpose. “On the third line, that is $30 instead of 30 pounds,”...

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Divided Senate kills iSTARS teacher pay plan

The Senate debated long and hard, right through the lunch hour, on SB 1436, the remaining version of the much-modified “iSTARS” teacher merit pay plan, before killing it on a close, 16-19 vote. You can read my full story here. Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls,...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 28, 2008

Hearing ends after more than two hours

After more than two hours of tough questions, the Senate Education Committee completed its hearing with the state Board of Education at 6:30 Boise time. Paul Agidius, the board’s vice-president who was filling in as president because Milford Terrell is out of the country, said,...

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'We're airing the problems'

At a brief break from the long, sweaty hearing at which senators are grilling the state Board of Ed, Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, said, “I think we’re airing the problems.” He said, “It’s accomplishing what I expected that it might – when...

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Senators question testing contract

Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, questioned how the state Board of Education could have framed a request for proposals for a statewide testing program that left key parts in optional add-on sections, rather than in the main, base portion. “Why would you have...

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Hill publishes book after 12 years’ work

Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, has published a book he’s been working on for 12 years, entitled “A Matter of Principle,” that’s geared toward young adults and was inspired by his reflections on how he became interested in politics. Hill, a fourth-term senator, is the chairman...

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'Now just a small pool'

House Speaker Lawerence Denney welcomed a visitor back to the House chamber today – former Speaker Tom Boyd. Denney noted that Boyd was speaker when Denney started as a freshman lawmaker, and welcomed Boyd to the new tighter temporary quarters, in which Boyd sat wedged...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27, 2008

Mel Richardson to retire

Sen. Mel Richardson, R-Idaho Falls, has announced that he’ll retire at the end of his current term, his 10th in the Legislature. Richardson, who served two terms in the House and then eight in the Senate, said, “After 20 years, it’s just time. Health wise,...

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Lobbying bill has support from both state, lobbyists

Legislation introduced by Secretary of State Ben Ysursa this morning to clarify and expand Idaho’s lobbying laws has backing even from the lobbyists themselves, according to the Associated Press. AP reporter John Miller reported that Skip Smyser, head of the Legislative Advisors group at the...

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Public schools budget-setting delayed

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee had been scheduled to set the public school budget tomorrow morning, but now that’s been delayed to next week because of the Senate Education Committee’s passage yesterday of the revised iSTARS teacher pay legislation. “We don’t want to be out in...

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TUESDAY, FEB. 26, 2008

No irony there

The state Board of Education has sent out its schedule for meetings this week, and it includes “open government training” this Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., followed immediately by – you guessed it – a closed-door, executive session at 5 p.m.

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Governor defends golf tournament

Gov. Butch Otter has sent out a statement speaking out strongly in support of the annual “Governor’s Cup” golf tournament, a fundraiser for scholarships at which “there are opportunities for business people and government people to talk.” He wrote, “Yes, there is golf, trap shooting,...

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Senate journeys over rough road

The Idaho Senate was locked in debate much of the morning over a proposed amendment to the chain-up bill, SB 1379. The bill now would require tire chains in dangerous, snowy conditions only for interstate truckers on three specific North Idaho mountain passes – Lookout,...

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Eventful morning in JFAC

In an eventful morning of budget-setting, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning nearly killed the funding for the Women’s Commission, stuck close to the governor’s recommendation on prison funding, left the conversion of a prison warehouse into treatment beds for a decision tomorrow, and trimmed...

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MONDAY, FEB. 25, 2008

Legislation would end field-burning secrecy

Idaho would start a new field-burning regulation program that makes public health a priority, ends the state’s practice of keeping field-burn locations a secret and cuts off burning when pollution rises, under legislation introduced this morning. The new system is part of an agreement to...

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Substance abuse funds restored

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning shifted savings around, restored a federal grant, and added $10.5 million in one-time funds to the state Office of Drug Policy to bring statewide substance abuse treatment services for next year back up to this year’s level – rather...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 22, 2008

State board issues response

The Idaho State Board of Education has issued this response to Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s investigation of an open meeting complaint against the board:The State Board of Education accepts the findings and recommendations of Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, and would like to express its tremendous...

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Board may have violated open meeting law, AG says

The Idaho State Board of Education may have violated the Idaho Open Meeting Law, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced this morning, but because of a recent state Supreme Court decision, he couldn’t find that they’d “knowingly” done so. “The board would benefit from receiving...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 21, 2008

Taking it 'day to day'

Gov. Butch Otter seemed to be walking just fine during his first day back at work after his Jan. 29 hip surgery, and impressed legislative leaders – with whom he met early Thursday – as being rarin’ to go. Said Otter’s spokesman, Jon Hanian, “He...

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Senators change course, approve Terrell

The Senate Education Committee has just voted to reverse its earlier vote to hold the reconfirmation of state Board of Education Chairman Milford Terrell until after it calls the full board before the panel to explain financial problems. After the reconsideration carried on a 6-2...

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Green out, Echeverria in at ISBA

The Idaho School Boards Association has announced that former Executive Director Cliff Green has “chosen to leave” his position “to pursue other employment opportunities,” and reported, “The Idaho School Boards Association Inc. and Dr. Green have reached an agreement which satisfies all parties.” Karen Echeverria,...

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Pass different kind of test to get scholarship?

Rep. Sharon Block, R-Twin Falls, got an enthusiastic reception in the House Education Committee this morning for her bill to start a pilot project to give scholarships to kids who remain drug, alcohol and tobacco-free – and pass random drug tests to prove it. HB...

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'No frills' budget set for Medicaid

Frugal budgets were set this morning for Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health care for the elderly and disabled. “There will be no rate increases for anyone,” said Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley. “The economic times would indicate that that’s what we have to do.”The...

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Eye On Boise

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



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