Eye On Boise archive for Jan. 26, 2009

MONDAY, JAN. 26, 2009

Times-News: A 'legal way around' lawmakers?

The Twin Falls Times-News reports that a fight may be brewing over the startup of the Idaho Education Network, a $50 million statewide broadband network to serve local schools. Lawmakers unanimously approved the concept last year, but haven't yet approved funding, but state Department of...

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Rep. Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, ponders lawmakers' options in responding to a performance audit of the Idaho Transportation Department during a House Transportation Committee hearing, 1/26/09 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Wrestling with results of ITD audit

House Transportation Committee members are still weighing the findings of the big performance audit of the Idaho Transportation Department, and how to respond to them. "If we all agree that ITD needs more money, there's no way we can put off doing that," Rep. Scott...

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A near-capacity crowd fills a hearing room at the Idaho Supreme Court building as the House Health & Welfare Committee holds a hearing on rule changes that implement budget cuts in services to the disabled and mentally ill, 1/26/08 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Big crowd at HW rules hearing

There's a near-capacity crowd at the somber hearing this afternoon in the House Health & Welfare Committee, even though the most controversial of the rule changes being considered there already has won approval from the Senate Health & Welfare Committee; rules stand unless they're rejected...

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Reps. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, left, and Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, right, watch as the House votes on HB 4, a one-word change in state law to allow for the fact that housing prices go down, as well as up, 1/26/09 (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

A one-word change... 

Here's a sign of the times: Legislation that makes a one-word change in the law regarding annual adjustments in the homeowner's exemption from property tax won unanimous approval in the House today. The reason for the change? As House Tax Chairman Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, explained...

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Stennett won't return this session

Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, announced today that he won't be able to return before the end of the legislative session this year. Stennett, who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer, said it was "very disheartening to not participate this session." Though his prognosis...

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Steven Daley-Laursen, interim president of the University of Idaho, addresses legislative budget writers as the UI faces budget cuts. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

'Reductions will be felt university-wide'

Of the 41 undergraduate and graduate degree programs that the University of Idaho is proposing eliminating, few are popular, acting UI President Steven Daley-Laursen told JFAC this morning. "We have only 55 applications now on the table for entrance of new students," between the 41...

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Into the third week...

Here's a link to the latest episode of Idaho Reports, and also to the "after the show" online discussion in which I join Lt. Gov. Brad Little, BSU political scientist emeritus Jim Weatherby, AP reporter John Miller and host Thanh Tan to discuss the goings-on...

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Eye On Boise

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

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