Eye On Boise archive for April 2009

THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2009

'Suspect we will be back'

The often-crowded halls of the Capitol Annex are close to abandoned this afternoon. The Senate finished its session this morning, and now there's almost no one around. House Speaker Lawerence Denney, who was chatting with a casually dressed Rep. Cliff Bayer in the third floor...

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Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, urges the Senate to support the amended version of the day care licensing bill, SB 1112a, because "it's still better than what we have right now." The Senate sent the House-amended bill to the governor; it's Idaho's first move to regulate small day care centers, including requiring criminal background checks for operators. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Amended day care licensing bill goes to governor

Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, urged the Senate to back the amended version of SB 1112a, the day care licensing bill, despite numerous problems he highlighted with the House amendments. "I'm still asking you to support it, with the fiscal impact, with all the errors,...

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And now it's the 109th day...

Here's a link to my full story in today's Spokesman-Review on the wild events of the 108th day of the Idaho's 2009 legislative session. And now, it's the 109th day. The Senate is in session, but the House isn't.

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'A tough thing for me to ask'

Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, asked unanimous consent that the Senate concur in the amendments to SB 1112a, the day care licensing bill. "This is a tough thing for me to ask you to do, but I'm going to ask you to concur," Corder told...

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House and Senate Democrats hold a press conference on Thursday morning to protest the House Republicans' move the night before to attempt to unilaterally adjourn the legislative session. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Dems: 'This is not good government' 

Democrats from the House and Senate held a news conference this morning to object to the House Republicans' move last night to attempt to unilaterally adjourn the legislative session. "The Legislature is constructed to have a balance of power between the houses, and both balance...

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2009

Here's the sign a House delegation left on a Senate office door on Wednesday night: "See ya later, gone home - Sincerely, Best wishes, The House" (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

In odd moment, House attempts adjournment 

In one of the strangest moments yet in this year's most unusual legislative session, the House finished its calendar and attempted to adjourn sine die, which means without a day to come back. But when the House sent its formal delegation to the Senate to...

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House approves DMV fee hike

The House has voted 52-13 in favor of HB 334, which raises an array of DMV fees by a total of $13.1 million a year. Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, told the House the Idaho Transportation Department had provided plenty of data to show the increase...

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Day-care licensing bill passes the House

Day-care licensing legislation has won passage in the House on a 61-5 vote, after Rep. George Sayler, D-Coeur d'Alene, spent five years relentlessly, but until now unsuccessfully, proposing it. "This is good legislation - it meets the needs of parents for safe child care," Sayler...

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House passing duplicate budget bills 

The House took up its first duplicate budget bill - one of those that the House Appropriations Committee introduced the same day that JFAC had introduced an identical bill. Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, objected. "It is a concern that I have and several in...

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Bighorn sheep bill passes House

On SB 1232a, the second version of the bighorn sheep bill - the earlier one was vetoed, then the new one was introduced, then amended in the Senate, then sent to the House - Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, told the House, "I have to tell...

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House members gather for pizza in a room behind their chamber, as their session stretches into the evening on Wednesday. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Gonna be a late one...

House members gathered for pizza in a back room during a short break, showing what a long night they have ahead trying to clear their agenda. So far, they've already passed more than 30 bills, but at least a dozen and a half more remain...

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The Idaho Senate meets on Wednesday, a day when it passed major legislation including budgets for public schools and transportation. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Senate passes ITD budget

The Senate has voted 32-1 in favor of HB 311, the budget for the Idaho Transportation Department. The bill passed the House 52-14 about two weeks ago, but has been hanging on the Senate calendar awaiting a vote as the two houses wrangled over transportation...

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Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, left, answers a question from Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, during debate over sweeping election consolidation legislation that passed the House Wednesday. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Election consolidation bill passes House

The House has voted 51-15 in favor of HB 372, the new version of the election consolidation bill. The sweeping, 98-page piece of legislation would consolidate Idaho elections to four dates. In the new version, the state would cover the costs, rather than requiring school...

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House votes 61-5 for transportation study committee

The House has passed the resolution calling for an interim committee to study transportation funding; HCR 31 passed on a 61-5 vote. "We think it's a step to bring this transportation discussion to a close for this session," House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly,...

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Otter issues statement 

Gov. Butch Otter has issued the following statement in response to the House leadership's press conference this afternoon: “I appreciate that they now are about one-third of the way to where we need to go, and are acknowledging the need. But we have put off...

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'Being driven by the economy'

The Senate has given the same vote - 26-7 - to the third public school appropriation bill, HB 325, for the operations division, matching the vote on the two earlier divisions. Again, there was emotional debate. "I'm very sad to be part of the first...

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Emotional debate in Senate on school funding 

The debate on the second public school budget bill, for the division of teachers, was an emotional one in the Senate. Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said, "I've always supported education ... yet there are those that believe we're the bad guys in this economic stress....

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Senate takes up public school budgets

The Senate has reconvened and is taking up the five public school budget bills that earlier passed the House. The first one, on the division of administrators, passed on a 26-7 vote, with opposition coming from the Senate's six Democrats who are present and Sen....

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Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, was unimpressed with a House proposal for an interim committee to study transportation funding, saying it's already been studied and talked about more than any other issue. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

McGee: 'This doesn't scratch the surface'

Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, had this reaction to the House plan for an interim committee to study transportation funding: "I'm trying to think of an issue over the last two years that has been studied and talked about more than transportation funding. Every...

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House GOP leaders Ken Roberts, majority caucus chairman, left, and Scott Bedke, assistant majority leader, right, speak at a press conference Wednesday afternoon about the House's plan to unilaterally adjourn. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

House GOP: 'Plan is to complete our work'

House GOP leaders called a press conference to announce that they plan to adjourn sine die tonight. "Our plans are to complete our work and adjourn sine die later this afternoon or this evening," said Rep. Ken Roberts, R-Donnelly. Before leaving, he said, the House...

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The House Ways & Means Committee meets Wednesday to introduce three last-minute bills, including a new compromise on election consolidation. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Party-line votes introduce three new bills 

The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 4-3 in three straight party-line votes to introduce three new bills: A compromise on election consolidation, with the state covering school district and local government costs; a concurrent resolution calling for an interim committee to study transportation...

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'It worked with water'

The House Resources Committee is addressing the new bighorn sheep bill that came over from the Senate, while Ways & Means has three new bills on its agenda: A compromise on election consolidation, in which the state would cover school district costs for all four...

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